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Full text of "Daily Strength for Daily Needs"

Project Gutenberg's Daily Strength for Daily Needs, by Mary W. Tileston

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Title: Daily Strength for Daily Needs

Author: Mary W. Tileston

Release Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8534]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on July 20, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DAILY STRENGTH FOR DAILY NEEDS ***




Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Tiffany Vergon,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team




DAILY STRENGTH FOR DAILY NEEDS

By Mary Wilder Tileston



_Selected by the Editor of_ "Joy and Strength for the Pilgrim's Day,"
"Quiet Hours," etc.


"As thy days, so shall thy strength be"




PREFACE

This little book of brief selections in prose and verse, with accompanying
texts of Scripture, is intended for a daily companion and counsellor. These
words of the goodly fellowship of wise and holy men of many times, it is
hoped may help to strengthen the reader to perform the duties and to bear
the burdens of each day with cheerfulness and courage.

MARY WILDER TILESTON.



January 1


_They go from strength to strength_.--PS. lxxxiv. 7.

_First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the
ear_.--MARK. iv. 28.

  Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
  As the swift seasons roll!
  Leave thy low-vaulted past!
  Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
  Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
  Till thou at length art free,
  Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

O. W. HOLMES.

High hearts are never long without hearing some new call, some distant
clarion of God, even in their dreams; and soon they are observed to break
up the camp of ease, and start on some fresh march of faithful service.
And, looking higher still, we find those who never wait till their moral
work accumulates, and who reward resolution with no rest; with whom,
therefore, the alternation is instantaneous and constant; who do the good
only to see the better, and see the better only to achieve it; who are too
meek for transport, too faithful for remorse, too earnest for repose; whose
worship is action, and whose action ceaseless aspiration.

J. MARTINEAU.



January 2


_The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time
forth, and even for evermore_.--PS. cxxi. 8.

_Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations_.--PS. xc. 1.

  With grateful hearts the past we own;
  The future, all to us unknown,
  We to Thy guardian care commit,
  And peaceful leave before Thy feet.

P. DODDRIDGE.

We are like to Him with whom there is no past or future, with whom a day is
as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, when we do our work
in the great present, leaving both past and future to Him to whom they are
ever present, and fearing nothing, because He is in our future as much as
He is in our past, as much as, and far more than we can feel Him to be, in
our present. Partakers thus of the divine nature, resting in that perfect
All-in-all in whom our nature is eternal too, we walk without fear, full of
hope and courage and strength to do His will, waiting for the endless good
which He is always giving as fast as He can get us able to take it in.

G. MACDONALD.



January 3


_As thy days, so shall thy strength be_.--DEUT. xxxiii. 25.

_Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof_.--MATT. vi. 34.

  Oh, ask not thou, How shall I bear
    The burden of to-morrow?
  Sufficient for to-day, its care,
    Its evil and its sorrow;
  God imparteth by the way
  Strength sufficient for the day.

J. E. SAXBY.

He that hath so many causes of joy, and so great, is very much in love with
sorrow and peevishness, who loses all these pleasures, and chooses to sit
down upon his little handful of thorns. Enjoy the blessings of this day, if
God sends them; and the evils of it bear patiently and sweetly: for this
day only is ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the
morrow. But if we look abroad, and bring into one day's thoughts the evil
of many, certain and uncertain, what will be and what will never be, our
load will be as intolerable as it is unreasonable.

JEREMY TAYLOR.



January 4


_If we sin, we are Thine, knowing Thy power: but--we will not sin, knowing
that we are counted Thine. For to know Thee is perfect righteousness: yea,
to know Thy power is the root of immortality_.--WISDOM OF SOLOMON xv. 2,
3.

  Oh, empty us of self, the world, and sin,
  And then in all Thy fulness enter in;
  Take full possession, Lord, and let each thought
  Into obedience unto Thee be brought;
  Thine is the power, and Thine the will, that we
  Be wholly sanctified, O Lord, to Thee.

C. E. J.

Take steadily some one sin, which seems to stand out before thee, to root
it out, by God's grace, and every fibre of it. Purpose strongly, by
the grace and strength of God, wholly to sacrifice this sin or sinful
inclination to the love of God, to spare it not, until thou leave of it
none remaining, neither root nor branch.

Fix, by God's help, not only to root out this sin, but to set thyself to
gain, by that same help, the opposite grace. If thou art tempted to be
angry, try hard, by God's grace, to be _very_ meek; if to be proud, seek to
be _very_ humble.

E. B. PUSEY.



January 5


_That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without
blemish_.--EPH. v. 27.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.--I PETER ii. 5.

  One holy Church of God appears
    Through every age and race,
  Unwasted by the lapse of years,
  Unchanged by changing place.

S. LONGFELLOW.

A temple there has been upon earth, a spiritual Temple, made up of living
stones; a Temple, as I may say, composed of souls; a Temple with God for
its light, and Christ for the high priest; with wings of angels for its
arches, with saints and teachers for its pillars, and with worshippers for
its pavement. Wherever there is faith and love, this Temple is.

J. H. NEWMAN.

To whatever worlds He carries our souls when they shall pass out of
these imprisoning bodies, in those worlds these souls of ours shall find
themselves part of the same great Temple; for it belongs not to this earth
alone. There can be no end of the universe where God is, to which that
growing Temple does not reach,--the Temple of a creation to be wrought at
last into a perfect utterance of God by a perfect obedience to God.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.



January 6


_In all ages entering into holy souls, she [Wisdom] maketh them friends of
God, and prophets_.--WISDOM OF SOLOMON vii. 27.

  Meanwhile with every son and saint of Thine
    Along the glorious line,
  Sitting by turns beneath Thy sacred feet
    We 'll hold communion sweet,
  Know them by look and voice, and thank them all
    For helping us in thrall,
  For words of hope, and bright examples given
  To shew through moonless skies that there is light in heaven.

J. KEBLE.

If we cannot live at once and alone with Him, we may at least live with
those who have lived with Him; and find, in our admiring love for their
purity, their truth, their goodness, an intercession with His pity on our
behalf. To study the lives, to meditate the sorrows, to commune with the
thoughts, of the great and holy men and women of this rich world, is a
sacred discipline, which deserves at least to rank as the forecourt of the
temple of true worship, and may train the tastes, ere we pass the very
gate, of heaven. We forfeit the chief source of dignity and sweetness in
life, next to the direct communion with God, if we do not seek converse
with the greater minds that have left their vestiges on the world.

J. MARTINEAU.

Do not think it wasted time to submit yourself to any influence which may
bring upon you any noble feeling.

J. RUSKIN.



January 7


_The exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to
the working of His mighty power_.--EPH. i. 19.

  The lives which seem so poor, so low,
    The hearts which are so cramped and dull,
  The baffled hopes, the impulse slow,
    Thou takest, touchest all, and lo!
  They blossom to the beautiful.

SUSAN COOLIDGE.

A root set in the finest soil, in the best climate, and blessed with all
that sun and air and rain can do for it, is not in so sure a way of its
growth to perfection, as every man may be, whose spirit aspires after all
that which God is ready and infinitely desirous to give him. For the sun
meets not the springing bud that stretches towards him with half that
certainty, as God, the source of all good, communicates Himself to the soul
that longs to partake of Him.

WM. LAW.

If we stand in the openings of the present moment, with all the length and
breadth of our faculties unselfishly adjusted to what it reveals, we are in
the best condition to receive what God is always ready to communicate.

T. C. UPHAM.



January 8


_As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men_.--GAL. vi.
10.

_Let brotherly love continue_.--HEB. xiii. 1.

  I Ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
    Through constant watching wise,
  To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
    And to wipe the weeping eyes,
  And a heart at leisure from itself,
    To soothe and sympathize.

A. L. WARING.

Surely none are so full of cares, or so poor in gifts, that to them also,
waiting patiently and trustfully on God for His daily commands, He will not
give direct ministry for Him, increasing according to their strength and
their desire. There is so much to be set right in the world, there are so
many to be led and helped and comforted, that we must continually come in
contact with such in our daily life. Let us only take care, that, by the
glance being turned inward, or strained onward, or lost in vacant reverie,
we do not miss our turn of service, and pass by those to whom we might have
been sent on an errand straight from God.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.

Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and
lend a hand.

EDWARD E. HALE.



January 9


_And in every work that be began in the service of the house of God, and in
the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his
heart, and prospered_.--2 CHRON. xxxi. 21.

_What, shall we do, that we might work the works of God_?--JOHN vi. 28.

  Give me within the work which calls to-day,
    To see Thy finger gently beckoning on;
  So struggle grows to freedom, work to play,
    And toils begun from Thee to Thee are done.

J. F. CLARKE.

God is a kind Father. He sets us all in the places where He wishes us to be
employed; and that employment is truly "our Father's business." He chooses
work for every creature which will be delightful to them, if they do it
simply and humbly. He gives us always strength enough, and sense enough,
for what He wants us to do; if we either tire ourselves or puzzle
ourselves, it is our own fault. And we may always be sure, whatever we are
doing, that we cannot be pleasing Him, if we are not happy ourselves.

J. RUSKIN.



January 10


_Because Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise
Thee_.--PS. lxiii. 3.

_Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall
lose his life shall preserve it_.--LUKE xvii. 33.

  O Lord! my best desires fulfil,
    And help me to resign
  Life, health, and comfort, to Thy will,
    And make Thy pleasure mine.

WM. COWPER.

What do our heavy hearts prove but that other things are sweeter to us
than His will, that we have not attained to the full mastery of our true
freedom, the full perception of its power, that our sonship is yet but
faintly realized, and its blessedness not yet proved and known? Our consent
would turn all our trials into obedience. By consenting we make them our
own, and offer them with ourselves again to Him.

H. E. MANNING.

Nothing is intolerable that is necessary. Now God hath bound thy trouble
upon thee, with a design to try thee, and with purposes to reward and crown
thee. These cords thou canst not break; and therefore lie thou down gently,
and suffer the hand of God to do what He please.

JEREMY TAYLOR.



January 11


_I will be glad, and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my
trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities_.--PS. xxxi. 7.

  Nay, all by Thee is ordered, chosen, planned;
  Each drop that fills my daily cup Thy hand
  Prescribes, for ills none else can understand:
    All, all is known to Thee.

A. L. NEWTON.

God knows us through and through. Not the most secret thought, which we
most hide from ourselves, is hidden from Him. As then we come to know
ourselves through and through, we come to see ourselves more as God sees
us, and then we catch some little glimpse of His designs with us, how each
ordering of His Providence, each check to our desires, each failure of our
hopes, is just fitted for us, and for something in our own spiritual state,
which others know not of, and which, till then, we knew not. Until we come
to this knowledge, we must take all in faith, believing, though we know
not, the goodness of God towards us. As we know ourselves, we, thus far,
know God.

E. B. PUSEY.



January 12


_Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable
in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer_.--PS. xix. 14.

  The thoughts that in our hearts keep place,
    Lord, make a holy, heavenly throng,
  And steep in innocence and grace
    The issue of each guarded tongue.

T. H. GILL.

There is another kind of silence to be cultivated, besides that of
the tongue as regards others. I mean silence as regards one's
self,--restraining the imagination, not permitting it to dwell overmuch
on what we have heard or said, not indulging in the phantasmagoria of
picture-thoughts, whether of the past or future. Be sure that you have
made no small progress in the spiritual life, when you can control your
imagination, so as to fix it on the duty and occupation actually existing,
to the exclusion of the crowd of thoughts which are perpetually sweeping
across the mind. No doubt, you cannot prevent those thoughts from arising,
but you can prevent yourself from dwelling on them; you can put them aside,
you can check the self-complacency, or irritation, or earthly longings
which feed them, and by the practice of such control of your thoughts you
will attain that spirit of inward silence which draws the soul into a close
intercourse with God.

JEAN N. GROU.



January 13


_Speak not evil one of another, brethren_.--JAMES iv. 11.

_Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice_.--EPH. iv. 31.

  If aught good thou canst not say
    Of thy brother, foe, or friend,
  Take thou, then, the silent way,
    Lest in word thou shouldst offend.

ANON.

If there is any person to whom you feel dislike, that is the person of whom
you ought never to speak.

R. CECIL.

To recognize with delight all high and generous and beautiful actions; to
find a joy even in seeing the good qualities of your bitterest opponents,
and to admire those qualities even in those with whom you have least
sympathy, this is the only spirit which can heal the love of slander and of
calumny.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



January 14


_Thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall
appoint_.--2 SAM. xv. 15.

  I love to think that God appoints
    My portion day by day;
  Events of life are in His hand,
    And I would only say,
  Appoint them in Thine own good time,
    And in Thine own best way.

A. L. WARING.

If we are really, and always, and equally ready to do whatsoever the King
appoints, all the trials and vexations arising from any change in His
appointments, great or small, simply do not exist. If He appoints me to
work there, shall I lament that I am not to work here? If He appoints me
to wait in-doors to-day, am I to be annoyed because I am not to work
out-of-doors? If I meant to write His messages this morning, shall I
grumble because He sends interrupting visitors, rich or poor, to whom I
am to speak them, or "show kindness" for His sake, or at least obey His
command, "Be courteous?" If all my members are really at His disposal, why
should I be put out if to-day's appointment is some simple work for my
hands or errands for my feet, instead of some seemingly more important
doing of head or tongue?

F. R. HAVERGAL.



January 15


_For this is the will of God, even your sanctification_.--I THESS. iv. 3.

  Between us and Thyself remove
    Whatever hindrances may be,
  That so our inmost heart may prove
    A holy temple, meet for Thee.

LATIN MSS. OF 15TH CENTURY.

Bear, in the presence of God, to know thyself. Then seek to know for what
God sent thee into the world; how thou hast fulfilled it; art thou yet what
God willed thee to be; what yet lacketh unto thee; what is God's will for
thee _now_; what thing thou mayest _now_ do, by His grace, to obtain His
favor, and approve thyself unto Him. Say to Him, "Teach me to do Thy will,
for Thou art my God," and He will say unto thy soul, "Fear not; I am thy
salvation." He will speak peace unto thy soul; He will set thee in the way;
He will bear thee above things of sense, and praise of man, and things
which perish in thy grasp, and give thee, if but afar off, some glimpse of
His own, unfading, unsetting, unperishing brightness and bliss and love.

E. B. PUSEY.



January 16


_Now our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath
loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through
grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and
work_.--2 THESS. ii. 16, 17.

  When sorrow all our heart would ask,
  We need not shun our daily task,
    And hide ourselves for calm;
  The herbs we seek to heal our woe
  Familiar by our pathway grow,
    Our common air is balm.

J. KEBLE.

Oh, when we turn away from some duty or some fellow-creature, saying that
our hearts are too sick and sore with some great yearning of our own, we
may often sever the line on which a divine message was coming to us. We
shut out the man, and we shut out the angel who had sent him on to open the
door. There is a plan working in our lives; and if we keep our hearts quiet
and our eyes open, it all works together; and, if we don't, it all rights
together, and goes on fighting till it comes right, somehow, somewhere.

ANNIE KEARY.



January 17


_Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try
you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch
as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings_.--I PETER iv. 12, 13.

  We take with solemn thankfulness
  Our burden up, nor ask it less,
  And count it joy that even we
  May suffer, serve, or wait for Thee,
    Whose will be done!

J. G. WHITTIER.

Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain,
uneasiness, temptation, darkness, and desolation, with both thy hands, as a
true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into
a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Saviour. Look at no
inward or outward trouble in any other view; reject every other thought
about it; and then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed
day of thy prosperity. That state is best, which exerciseth the highest
faith in, and fullest resignation to God.

WM. LAW.



January 18


_Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given
unto thee_.--DEUT. XXVI. 11.

_Rejoice evermore. In everything give thanks_.--I THESS. v. 16, 18.

  Grave on thy heart each past "red-letter day"!
  Forget not all the sunshine of the way
  By which the Lord hath led thee; answered prayers,
  And joys unasked, strange blessings, lifted cares,
  Grand promise-echoes! Thus thy life shall be
  One record of His love and faithfulness to thee.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

Gratitude consists in a watchful, minute attention to the particulars of
our state, and to the multitude of God's gifts, taken one by one. It fills
us with a consciousness that God loves and cares for us, even to the least
event and smallest need of life. It is a blessed thought, that from our
childhood God has been laying His fatherly hands upon us, and always in
benediction; that even the strokes of His hands are blessings, and among
the chiefest we have ever received. When this feeling is awakened, the
heart beats with a pulse of thankfulness. Every gift has its return of
praise. It awakens an unceasing daily converse with our Father,--He
speaking to us by the descent of blessings, we to Him by the ascent of
thanksgiving. And all our whole life is thereby drawn under the light of
His countenance, and is filled with a gladness, serenity, and peace which
only thankful hearts can know.

H. E. MANNING.



January 19


_Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord_.--PS. cv. 3.

_The joy of the Lord is your strength_.--NEH. viii. 10.

  Be Thou my Sun, my selfishness destroy,
  Thy atmosphere of Love be all my joy;
  Thy Presence be my sunshine ever bright,
  My soul the little mote that lives but in Thy light.

GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.

I do not know when I have had happier times in my soul, than when I have
been sitting at work, with nothing before me but a candle and a white
cloth, and hearing no sound but that of my own breath, with God in my soul
and heaven in my eye... I rejoice in being exactly what I am,--a creature
capable of loving God, and who, as long as God lives, must be happy. I get
up and look for a while out of the window, and gaze at the moon and stars,
the work of an Almighty hand. I think of the grandeur of the universe, and
then sit down, and think myself one of the happiest beings in it.

A POOR METHODIST WOMAN, 18TH CENTURY.



January 20


_The Lord taketh pleasure In His people: He will beautify the meek with
salvation_.--PS. cxlix. 4.

  Long listening to Thy words,
    My voice shall catch Thy tone,
  And, locked in Thine, my hand shall grow
    All loving like Thy own.

B. T.

It is not in words explicable, with what divine lines and lights the
exercise of godliness and charity will mould and gild the hardest and
coldest countenance, neither to what darkness their departure will consign
the loveliest. For there is not any virtue the exercise of which, even
momentarily, will not impress a new fairness upon the features; neither on
them only, but on the whole body the moral and intellectual faculties
have operation, for all the movements and gestures, however slight, are
different in their modes according to the mind that governs them--and on
the gentleness and decision of right feeling follows grace of actions, and,
through continuance of this, grace of form.

J. RUSKIN.

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish
to scatter joy and not pain around us.

R. W. EMERSON.



January 21


_Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly
fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and
they shall walk and not faint_.--ISA. xl. 30, 31.

  Lord, with what courage and delight
    I do each thing,
  When Thy least breath sustains my wing!
    I shine and move
    Like those above,
    And, with much gladness
    Quitting sadness,
  Make me fair days of every night.

H. VAUGHAN.

Man, by living wholly in submission to the Divine Influence, becomes
surrounded with, and creates for himself, internal pleasures infinitely
greater than any he can otherwise attain to--a state of heavenly Beatitude.

J. P. GREAVES.

By persisting in a habit of self-denial, we shall, beyond what I can
express, increase the inward powers of the mind, and shall produce that
cheerfulness and greatness of spirit as will fit us for all good purposes;
and shall not have lost pleasure, but _changed_ it; the soul being then
filled with its own intrinsic pleasures.

HENRY MORE.



January 22


_Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord_.--HOSEA vi. 3.

    And, as the path of duty is made plain,
  May grace be given that I may walk therein,
    Not like the hireling, for his selfish gain,
  With backward glances and reluctant tread,
  Making a merit of his coward dread,--
    But, cheerful, in the light around me thrown,
    Walking as one to pleasant service led;
    Doing God's will as if it were my own,
  Yet trusting not in mine, but in His strength alone!

J. G. WHITTIER.

It is by doing our duty that we learn to do it. So long as men dispute
whether or no a thing is their duty, they get never the nearer. Let them
set ever so weakly about doing it, and the face of things alters. They find
in themselves strength which they knew not of. Difficulties which it seemed
to them they could not get over, disappear. For He accompanies it with the
influences of His blessed Spirit, and each performance opens our minds for
larger influxes of His grace, and places them in communion with Him.

E. B. PUSEY.

That which is called considering what is our duty in a particular case, is
very often nothing but endeavoring to explain it away.

JOSEPH BUTLER.



January 23


_If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;
then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday;
and the Lord shall guide thee continually_.--ISA. lviii. 10, 11.

  If thou hast Yesterday thy duty done,
    And thereby cleared firm footing for To-day,
  Whatever clouds make dark To-morrow's sun,
    Thou shall not miss thy solitary way.

J. W. VON GOETHE.

O Lord, who art our Guide even unto death, grant us, I pray Thee, grace to
follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. In little daily duties to which Thou
callest us, bow down our wills to simple obedience, patience under pain or
provocation, strict truthfulness of word and manner, humility, kindness; in
great acts of duty or perfection, if Thou shouldest call us to them, uplift
us to self-sacrifice, heroic courage, laying down of life for Thy truth's
sake, or for a brother. Amen.

C. G. ROSSETTI.



January 24


_I will bless the Lord, who bath given me counsel_.--PS. xvi. 7.

_Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord_.--ROM. xii.
11.

  Mine be the reverent, listening love
    That waits all day on Thee,
  With the service of a watchful heart
    Which no one else can see.

A. L. WARING.

Nothing is small or great in God's sight; whatever He wills becomes great
to us, however seemingly trifling, and if once the voice of conscience
tells us that He requires anything of us, we have no right to measure its
importance. On the other hand, whatever He would not have us do, however
important we may think it, is as nought to us.

How do you know what you may lose by neglecting this duty, which you think
so trifling, or the blessing which its faithful performance may bring? Be
sure that if you do your very best in that which is laid upon you daily,
you will not be left without sufficient help when some weightier occasion
arises. Give yourself to Him, trust Him, fix your eye upon Him, listen to
His voice, and then go on bravely and cheerfully.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



January 25


_If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them_.--JOHN xiii. 17.

_Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is
sin_.--JAMES iv. 17.

  We cannot kindle when we will
    The fire that in the heart resides,
  The spirit bloweth and is still,
    In mystery our soul abides:
  But tasks in hours of insight willed
  Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.

MATTHEW ARNOLD.

Hurt not your conscience with any known sin.

S. RUTHERFORD.

Deep-rooted customs, though wrong, are not easily altered; but it is the
duty of all to be firm in that which they certainly know is right for them.

JOHN WOOLMAN.

He often acts unjustly who does not do a certain thing; not only he who
does a certain thing.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.

Every duty we omit obscures some truth we should have known.

JOHN RUSKIN.



January 26


_O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how
unsearchable are His judgments, and His--ways past finding out_!--ROM. xi.
33.

_It doth not yet appear what we shall be_.--I JOHN iii. 2.

  No star is ever lost we once have seen,
  We always may be what we might have been.
  Since Good, though only thought, has life and breath,
  God's life--can always be redeemed from death;
  And evil, in its nature, is decay,
  And any hour can blot it all away;
  The hopes that lost in some far distance seem,
  May be the truer life, and this the dream.

A. A. PROCTER.

St. Bernard has said: "Man, if thou desirest a noble and holy life, and
unceasingly prayest to God for it, if thou continue constant in this thy
desire, it will be granted unto thee without fail, even if only in the day
or hour of thy death; and if God should not give it to thee then, thou
shalt find it in Him in eternity: of this be assured." Therefore do not
relinquish your desire, though it be not fulfilled immediately, or though
ye may swerve from your aspirations, or even forget them for a time.... The
love and aspiration which once really existed live forever before God, and
in Him ye shall find the fruit thereof; that is, to all eternity it shall
be better for you than if you had never felt them.

J. TAULER.



January 27


_For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name
is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a
contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to
revive the heart of the contrite ones_.--ISA. lvii. 15.

      Without an end or bound
    Thy life lies all outspread in light;
      Our lives feel Thy life all around,
    Making our weakness strong, our darkness bright;
  Yet is it neither wilderness nor sea,
  But the calm gladness of a full eternity.

F. W. FABER.

O truth who art Eternity! And Love who art Truth! And Eternity who art
Love! Thou art my God, to Thee do I sigh night and day. When I first knew
Thee, Thou liftedst me up, that I might see there was somewhat for me to
see, and that I was not yet such as to see. And Thou streaming forth Thy
beams of light upon me most strongly, didst beat back the weakness of my
sight, and I trembled with love and awe: and I perceived myself to be far
off from Thee in the region of unlikeness.

ST. AUGUSTINE.



January 28


_O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear
Him_--PS. xxxiv. 9.

_Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living
thing_.--PS. cxlv. 16.

  What Thou shalt to-day provide,
    Let me as a child receive;
  What to-morrow may betide,
    Calmly to Thy wisdom leave.
  'Tis enough that Thou wilt care;
    Why should I the burden bear?

J. NEWTON.

Have we found that anxiety about possible consequences increased the
clearness of our judgment, made us wiser and braver in meeting the present,
and arming ourselves for the future? If we had prayed for this day's bread,
and left the next to itself, if we had not huddled our days together,
not allotting to each its appointed task, but ever deferring that to the
future, and drawing upon the future for its own troubles, which must be
met when they come whether we have anticipated them or not, we should
have found a simplicity and honesty in our lives, a capacity for work, an
enjoyment in it, to which we are now, for the most part, strangers.

F. D. MAURICE.



January 29


_I the Lord will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will
help thee_.--ISA. xli. 13.

_Show Thy marvellous loving-kindness, O Thou that savest by Thy right hand
them which put their trust in Thee_.--PS. xvii. 7.

  Take Thy hand, and fears grow still;
    Behold Thy face, and doubts remove;
  Who would not yield his wavering will
    To perfect Truth and boundless Love?

S. JOHNSON.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather
look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will
deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto,--do you but hold fast to
His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when
you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms. Do not look forward to what
may happen to-morrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you to-day,
will take care of you to-morrow, and every day. Either he will shield you
from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at
peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



January 30


_If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of
the sea: even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold
me_.--PS. cxxxix. 9, 10.

  I cannot lose Thee! Still in Thee abiding,
    The end is clear, how wide soe'er I roam;
  The Hand that holds the worlds my steps is guiding,
    And I must rest at last in Thee, my home.

E. SCUDDER.

How can we come to perceive this direct leading of God? By a careful
looking at home, and abiding; within the gates of thy own soul. Therefore,
let a man be at home in his own heart, and cease from his restless chase of
and search after outward things. If he is thus at home while on earth, he
will surely come to see what there is to do at home,--what God commands
him inwardly without means, and also outwardly by the help of means; and
then let him surrender himself, and follow God along whatever path his
loving Lord thinks fit to lead him: whether it be to contemplation or
action, to usefulness or enjoyment; whether in sorrow or in joy, let him
follow on. And if God do not give him thus to feel His hand in all things,
let him still simply yield himself up, and go without, for God's sake, out
of love, and still press forward.

J. TAULER.



January 31


_In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths_.--PROV.
iii. 6.

_He leadeth me_.--PS. xxiii. 2.

  In "pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He
  Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me
  In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.

  So, whether on the hill-tops high and fair
  I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
  The shadows lie, what matter? He is there.

HENRY H. BARRY.

The Shepherd knows what pastures are best for his sheep, and they must not
question nor doubt, but trustingly follow Him. Perhaps He sees that the
best pastures for some of us are to be found in the midst of opposition or
of earthly trials. If He leads you there, you may be sure they are green
for you, and you will grow and be made strong by feeding there. Perhaps He
sees that the best waters for you to walk beside will be raging waves of
trouble and sorrow. If this should be the case, He will make them still
waters for you, and you must go and lie down beside them, and let them have
all their blessed influences upon you.

H. W. SMITH.



February 1


_Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one
toward another, according to Christ Jesus_.--ROM. xv. 5.

_Let patience have her perfect work_.--JAMES i. 4.

  Make me patient, kind, and gentle,
    Day by day;
  Teach me how to live more nearly
    As I pray.

SHARPE'S MAGAZINE.

The exercise of patience involves a continual practice of the presence of
God; for we may be come upon at any moment for an almost heroic display of
good temper, and it is a short road to unselfishness, for nothing is left
to self; all that seems to belong most intimately to self, to be self's
private property, such as time, home, and rest, are invaded by these
continual trials of patience. The family is full of such opportunities.

F. W. FABER.

Only as we know what it is to cherish love when sore at some unkindness, to
overmaster ourselves when under provocation, to preserve gentleness during
trial and unmerited wrong,--only then can we know in any degree the "manner
of spirit" that was in Christ.

T. T. CARTER.



February 2


_Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the
feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men_.--I THESS. v.
14.

  The little worries which we meet each day
  May lie as stumbling-blocks across our way,
  Or we may make them stepping-stones to be
    Of grace, O Lord, to Thee.

A. E. HAMILITON.

We must be continually sacrificing our own wills, as opportunity serves, to
the will of others; bearing, without notice, sights and sounds that annoy
us; setting about this or that task, when we had far rather be doing
something very different; persevering in it, often, when we are thoroughly
tired of it; keeping company for duty's sake, when it would be a great joy
to us to be by ourselves; besides all the trifling untoward accidents of
life; bodily pain and weakness long continued, and perplexing us often
when it does not amount to illness; losing what we value, missing what
we desire; disappointment in other persons, wilfulness, unkindness,
ingratitude, folly, in cases where we least expect it.

J. KEBLE.



February 3


_Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see
if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting_.--PS.
cxxxix. 23, 24.

  Save us from the evil tongue,
  From the heart that thinketh wrong,
  From the sins, whate'er they be,
  That divide the soul from Thee.

ANON.

Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy
mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous
series of such thoughts as these: for instance, that where a man can live,
there he can also live well. But he must live in a palace: well, then, he
can also live well in a palace.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.

Who is there that sets himself to the task of steadily watching his
thoughts for the space of one hour, with the view of preserving his mind
in a simple, humble, healthful condition, but will speedily discern in the
multiform, self-reflecting, self-admiring emotions, which, like locusts,
are ready to "eat up every green thing in his land," a state as much
opposed to simplicity and humility as night is to day?

M. A. KELTY.



February 4


_If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to
bridle the whole body_.--JAMES iii. 2

_Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips_.--PS.
cxli. 3.

  What! never speak one evil word,
    Or rash, or idle, or unkind!
  Oh, how shall I, most gracious Lord,
    This mark of true perfection find?

C. WESLEY.

When we remember our temptations to give quick indulgence to disappointment
or irritation or unsympathizing weariness, and how hard a thing it is
from day to day to meet our fellow-men, our neighbors, or even our own
households, in all moods, in all discordances between the world without
us and the frames within, in all states of health, of solicitude,
of preoccupation, and show no signs of impatience, ungentleness, or
unobservant self-absorption,--with only kindly feeling finding expression,
and ungenial feeling at least inwardly imprisoned;--we shall be ready to
acknowledge that the man who has thus attained is master of himself, and in
the graciousness of his power is fashioned upon the style of a Perfect Man.

J. H. THOM.



February 5


_Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at
all times_.--PS. cvi. 3.

_Thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: because thou shalt forget thy
misery, and remember it as waters that pass away_.--JOB xi. 15, 16.

  In the bitter waves of woe,
    Beaten and tossed about
  By the sullen winds that blow
    From the desolate shores of doubt,
  Where the anchors that faith has cast
    Are dragging in the gale,
  I am quietly holding fast
    To the things that cannot fail.

WASHINGTON GLADDEN.

In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever else is
doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state,
yet even then, it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be
chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave
than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who,
in the tempestuous darkness of the soul, has dared to hold fast to these
venerable landmarks. Thrice blessed is he, who, when all is drear and
cheerless within and without, when his teachers terrify him, and his
friends shrink from him, has obstinately clung to moral good. Thrice
blessed, because _his_ night shall pass into clear, bright day.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



February 6


_Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe_.--PROV. xxix. 25.

_I will cry unto God most high; unto God, that performeth all things for
me_.--PS. lvii. 2.

  Only thy restless heart keep still,
    And wait in cheerful hope; content
  To take whate'er His gracious will,
    His all-discerning love hath sent;
  Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
    To Him who chose us for His own.

G. NEUMARK.

God has brought us into this time; He, and not ourselves or some dark
demon. If we are not fit to cope with that which He has prepared for us,
we should have been utterly unfit for any condition that we imagine for
ourselves. In this time we are to live and wrestle, and in no other. Let us
humbly, tremblingly, manfully look at it, and we shall not wish that the
sun could go back its ten degrees, or that we could go back with it. If
easy times are departed, it is that the difficult times may make us more
in earnest; that they may teach us not to depend upon ourselves. If easy
belief is impossible, it is that we may learn what belief is, and in whom
it is to be placed.

F. D. MAURICE.



February 7


_Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk
ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto
you_.--JER. vii. 23.

  And oft, when in my heart was heard
  Thy timely mandate, I deferred
  The task, in smoother walks to stray;
  But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.

W. WORDSWORTH.

Pray Him to give you what Scripture calls "an honest and good heart," or "a
perfect heart;" and, without waiting, begin at once to obey Him with the
best heart you have. Any obedience is better than none. You have to seek
His face; obedience is the only way of seeing Him. All your duties are
obediences. To do what He bids is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to
approach Him. Every act of obedience is an approach--an approach to Him who
is not far off, though He seems so, but close behind this visible screen of
things which hides Him from us.

J. H. NEWMAN.

As soon as we lay ourselves entirely at His feet, we have enough light
given us to guide our own steps; as the foot-soldier, who hears nothing of
the councils that determine the course of the great battle he is in, hears
plainly enough the word of command which he must himself obey.

GEORGE ELIOT.



February 8


_He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me
in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake_.--PS. xxiii. 2, 3.

  He leads me where the waters glide,
    The waters soft and still,
  And homeward He will gently guide
    My wandering heart and will.

J. KEBLE.

Out of obedience and devotion arises an habitual faith, which makes Him,
though unseen, a part of all our life. He will guide us in a sure path,
though it be a rough one: though shadows hang upon it, yet He will be
with us. He will bring us home at last. Through much trial it may be,
and weariness, in much fear and fainting of heart, in much sadness and
loneliness, in griefs that the world never knows, and under burdens that
the nearest never suspect. Yet He will suffice for all. By His eye or by
His voice He will guide us, if we be docile and gentle; by His staff and
by His rod, if we wander or are wilful: any how, and by all means, He will
bring us to His rest.

H. E. MANNING.



February 9


_I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou
hast that is thine_.--MATT. xxv. 25.

  Time was, I shrank from what was right,
    From fear of what was wrong;
  I would not brave the sacred fight,
    Because the foe was strong.

  But now I cast that finer sense
    And sorer shame aside;
  Such dread of sin was indolence,
    Such aim at heaven was pride.

J. H. NEWMAN.

If he falls into some error, he does not fret over it, but rising up with a
humble spirit, he goes on his way anew rejoicing. Were he to fall a hundred
times in the day, he would not despair,--he would rather cry out lovingly
to God, appealing to His tender pity. The really devout man has a horror of
evil, but he has a still greater love of that which is good; he is more
set on doing what is right, than avoiding what is wrong. Generous,
large-hearted, he is not afraid of danger in serving God, and would rather
run the risk of doing His will imperfectly than not strive to serve Him
lest he fail in the attempt.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



February 10


_We have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have
waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation_.--ISA. xxv.
9.

  Blest are the humble souls that wait
    With sweet submission to His will;
  Harmonious all their passions move,
    And in the midst of storms are still.

P. DODDRIDGE.

Do not be discouraged at your faults; bear with yourself in correcting
them, as you would with your neighbor. Lay aside this ardor of mind, which
exhausts your body, and leads you to commit errors. Accustom yourself
gradually to carry prayer into all your daily occupations. Speak, move,
work, in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be. Do
everything without excitement, by the spirit of grace. As soon as you
perceive your natural impetuosity gliding in, retire quietly within, where
is the kingdom of God. Listen to the leadings of grace, then say and do
nothing but what the Holy Spirit shall put in your heart. You will find
that you will become more tranquil, that your words will be fewer and more
effectual, and that, with less effort, you will accomplish more good.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



February 11


_I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do_.--JOHN xvii. 4.

_She hath done what she could_.--MARK xiv. 8.

  He who God's will has borne and done,
    And his own restless longings stilled,
  What else he does, or has foregone,
    His mission he has well fulfilled.

FROM THE GERMAN.

Cheered by the presence of God, I will do at each moment, without anxiety,
according to the strength which He shall give me, the work that His
Providence assigns me. I will leave the rest without concern; it is not my
affair. I ought to consider the duty to which I am called each day, as the
work that God has given me to do, and to apply myself to it in a manner
worthy of His glory, that is to say, with exactness and in peace. I must
neglect nothing; I must be violent about nothing.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

It is thy duty oftentimes to do what thou wouldst not; thy duty, too, to
leave undone what thou wouldst do.

THOMAS A KEMPIS.



February 12


_Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits_.--PS. lxviii. 19.

_Nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly
all things to enjoy_.--I TIM. vi. 17.

  Source of my life's refreshing springs,
    Whose presence in my heart sustains me,
  Thy love ordains me pleasant things,
    Thy mercy orders all that pains me.

A. L. WARING.

And to be true, and speak my soul, when I survey the occurrences of my
life, and call into account the finger of God, I can perceive nothing
but an abyss and mass of mercies, either in general to mankind, or in
particular to myself; and whether out of the prejudice of my affection,
or an inverting and partial conceit of His mercies, I know not; but those
which others term crosses, afflictions, judgments, misfortunes, to me who
inquire farther into them than their visible effects, they both appear,
and in event have ever proved, the secret and dissembled favors of His
affection.

SIR T. BROWNE.



February 13


_Let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him_.--2 SAM. xv. 26.

  To have, each day, the thing I wish,
    Lord, that seems best to me;
  But not to have the thing I wish,
    Lord, that seems best to Thee.
  Most truly, then, Thy will is done,
    When mine, O Lord, is crossed;
  It is good to see my plans o'erthrown,
    My ways in Thine all lost.

H. BONAR.

O Lord, Thou knowest what is best for us; let this or that be done, as Thou
shalt please. Give what Thou wilt, and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou
wilt. Deal with me as Thou thinkest good. Set me where Thou wilt, and deal
with me in all things just as Thou wilt. Behold, I am Thy servant, prepared
for all things: for I desire not to live unto myself, but unto Thee; and
oh, that I could do it worthily and perfectly!

THOMAS A KEMPIS.

Dare to look up to God, and say, "Make use of me for the future as Thou
wilt. I am of the same mind; I am one with Thee. I refuse nothing which
seems good to Thee. Lead me whither Thou wilt, clothe me in whatever
dress Thou wilt. Is it Thy will that I should be in a public or a private
condition, dwell here, or be banished, be poor or rich? Under all these
circumstances, I will testify unto Thee before men."

EPICTETUS.



February 14


_I would have you without carefulness_.--I COR. vii. 32.

  O Lord, how happy should we be
  If we could cast our care on Thee,
    If we from self could rest;
  And feel at heart that One above,
  In perfect wisdom, perfect love,
    Is working for the best.

J. ANSTICE.

Cast all thy care on God. See that all thy cares be such as thou canst cast
on God, and then hold none back. Never brood over thyself; never stop short
in thyself; but cast thy whole self, even this very care which distresseth
thee, upon God. Be not anxious about little things, if thou wouldst learn
to trust God with thine all. Act upon faith in little things; commit thy
daily cares and anxieties to Him; and He will strengthen thy faith for any
greater trials. Rather, give thy whole self into God's hands, and so trust
Him to take care of thee in all lesser things, as being His, for His own
sake, whose thou art.

E. B. PUSEY.



February 15


_If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself, ye do well_.--JAMES ii. 8.

  Come, children, let us go!
    We travel hand in hand;
  Each in his brother finds his joy
    In this wild stranger land.
  The strong be quick to raise
    The weaker when they fall;
  Let love and peace and patience bloom
    In ready help for all.

G. TERSTEEGEN.

It is a sad weakness in us, after all, that the thought of a man's death
hallows him anew to us; as if life were not sacred too,--as if it were
comparatively a light thing to fail in love and reverence to the brother
who has to climb the whole toilsome steep with us, and all our tears and
tenderness were due to the one who is spared that hard journey.

GEORGE ELIOT.

Would we codify the laws that should reign in households, and whose daily
transgression annoys and mortifies us, and degrades our household life,--we
must learn to adorn every day with sacrifices. Good manners are made up
of petty sacrifices. Temperance, courage, love, are made up of the same
jewels. Listen to every prompting of honor.

R. W. EMERSON.



February 16


_Serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind_.--I CHRON.
xxviii. 9.

  And if some things I do not ask,
    In my cup of blessing be,
  I would have my spirit filled the more
    With grateful love to Thee,--
  More careful,--not to serve Thee much,
    But to please Thee perfectly.

A. L. WARING.

Little things come daily, hourly, within our reach, and they are not less
calculated to set forward our growth in holiness, than are the greater
occasions which occur but rarely. Moreover, fidelity in trifles, and an
earnest seeking to please God in little matters, is a test of real devotion
and love. Let your aim be to please our dear Lord perfectly in little
things, and to attain a spirit of childlike simplicity and dependence. In
proportion as self-love and self-confidence are weakened, and our will
bowed to that of God, so will hindrances disappear, the internal troubles
and contests which harassed the soul vanish, and it will be filled with
peace and tranquillity.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



February 17


_My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations
[or "trials"], knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh
patience_.--JAMES i. 2, 3.

  For patience, when the rough winds blow!
    For patience, when our hopes are fading,--
  When visible things all backward go,
    And nowhere seems the power of aiding!
  God still enfolds thee with His viewless hand,
  And leads thee surely to the Fatherland.

N. L. FROTHINGHAM, _from the German_.

We have need of patience with ourselves and with others; with those below,
and those above us, and with our own equals; with those who love us and
those who love us not; for the greatest things and for the least; against
sudden inroads of trouble, and under our daily burdens; disappointments as
to the weather, or the breaking of the heart; in the weariness of the body,
or the wearing of the soul; in our own failure of duty, or others' failure
toward us; in every-day wants, or in the aching of sickness or the decay
of age; in disappointment, bereavement, losses, injuries, reproaches; in
heaviness of the heart; or its sickness amid delayed hopes. In all these
things, from childhood's little troubles to the martyr's sufferings,
patience is the grace of God, whereby we endure evil for the love of God.

E. B. PUSEY.



February 18


_It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy
statutes_.--PS. cxix. 71.

_But though He cause grief yet will He have compassion, according to the
multitude of His mercies_.--LAM. iii. 32.

  And yet these days of dreariness are sent us from above;
  They do not come in anger, but in faithfulness and love;
  They come to teach us lessons which bright ones could not yield,
  And to leave us blest and thankful when their purpose is fulfilled.

ANON.

Heed not distressing thoughts when they rise ever so strongly in thee; nay,
though they have entered thee, fear them not, but be still awhile, not
believing in the power which thou feelest they have over thee, and it will
fall on a sudden. It is good for thy spirit, and greatly to thy advantage,
to be much and variously exercised by the Lord. Thou dost not know what the
Lord hath already done, and what He is yet doing for thee therein.

I. PENINGTON.

Why should I start at the plough of my Lord, that maketh deep furrows on my
soul? I know He is no idle husbandman, He purposeth a crop.

S. RUTHERFORD.



February 19


_My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His
work_.--JOHN iv. 34.

      I am glad to think
  I am not bound to make the world go right;
  But only to discover and to do,
  With cheerful heart, the work that God appoints.
      I will trust in Him,
  That He can hold His own; and I will take
  His will, above the work He sendeth me,
  To be my chiefest good.

J. INGELOW.

Don't object that your duties are so insignificant; they are to be reckoned
of infinite significance, and alone important to you. Were it but the more
perfect regulation of your apartments, the sorting-away of your clothes and
trinkets, the arranging of your papers,--"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to
do, _do it_ with all thy might," and all thy worth and constancy. Much
more, if your duties are of evidently higher, wider scope; if you have
brothers, sisters, a father, a mother, weigh earnestly what claim does lie
upon you, on behalf of each, and consider it as the one thing needful, to
pay _them_ more and more honestly and nobly what you owe. What matter
how miserable one is, if one can do that? That is the sure and steady
disconnection and extinction of whatsoever miseries one has in this world.

T. CARLYLE.



February 20


_Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather,
that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in his brother's
way_.--ROM. xiv. 13.

_Them that were entering in, ye hindered_.--LUKE xi. 52.

  My mind was ruffled with small cares to-day,
  And I said pettish words, and did not keep
  Long-suffering patience well, and now how deep
  My trouble for this sin! in vain I weep
  For foolish words I never can unsay.

H. S. SUTTON.

A vexation arises, and our expressions of impatience hinder others from
taking it patiently. Disappointment, ailment, or even weather depresses
us; and our look or tone of depression hinders others from maintaining
a cheerful and thankful spirit. We say an unkind thing, and another is
hindered in learning the holy lesson of charity that thinketh no evil. We
say a provoking thing, and our sister or brother is hindered in that day's
effort to be meek. How sadly, too, we may hinder without word or act! For
wrong feeling is more infectious than wrong doing; especially the
various phases of ill temper,--gloominess, touchiness, discontent,
irritability,--do we not know how catching these are?

F. R. HAVERGAL.



February 21


_If ye then, being evil, know bow to give good gifts unto your children,
bow much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good gifts to them
that ask Him_?--MATT. vii. 11.

  For His great love has compassed
    Our nature, and our need
  We know not; but He knoweth,
    And He will bless indeed.
  Therefore, O heavenly Father,
    Give what is best to me;
  And take the wants unanswered,
    As offerings made to Thee.

ANON.

Whatsoever we ask which is not for our good, He will keep it back from us.
And surely in this there is no less of love than in the granting what we
desire as we ought. Will not the same love which prompts you to give a
good, prompt you to keep back an evil, thing? If, in our blindness, not
knowing what to ask, we pray for things which would turn in our hands to
sorrow and death, will not our Father, out of His very love, deny us?
How awful would be our lot, if our wishes should straightway pass into
realities; if we were endowed with a power to bring about all that we
desire; if the inclinations of our will were followed by fulfilment of our
hasty wishes, and sudden longings were always granted. One day we shall
bless Him, not more for what He has granted than for what He has denied.

H. E. MANNING.



February 22


_Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God_.--PHIL. iv. 6.

      We tell Thee of our care,
  Of the sore burden, pressing day by day,
  And in the light and pity of Thy face,
      The burden melts away.

      We breathe our secret wish,
  The importunate longing which no man may see;
  We ask it humbly, or, more restful still,
      We leave it all to Thee.

SUSAN COOLIDGE.

That prayer which does not succeed in moderating our wish, in changing
the passionate desire into still submission, the anxious, tumultuous
expectation into silent surrender, is no true prayer, and proves that we
have not the spirit of true prayer. That life is most holy in which there
is least of petition and desire, and most of waiting upon God; that in
which petition most often passes into thanksgiving. Pray till prayer makes
you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God's will. The
Divine wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the
good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them;
not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become
strong to meet it.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



February 23


_Let the Lord do that which is good in His sight_.--I CHRON. xix. 13.

_Let Thy mercy O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee_.--PS.
XXXIII. 22.

      I cannot feel
  That all is well, when darkening clouds conceal
      The shining sun;
      But then, I know
  He lives and loves; and say, since it is so,
      Thy will be done.

S. G. BROWNING.

No felt evil or defect becomes divine until it is inevitable; and only when
resistence to it is exhausted and hope has fled, does surrender cease to
be premature. The hardness of our task lies _here_; that we have to strive
against the grievous things of life, while hope remains, as if they were
evil; and then, when the stroke has fallen, to accept them from the hand of
God, and doubt not they are good. But to the loving, trusting heart, all
things are possible; and even this instant change, from overstrained will
to sorrowful repose, from fullest resistance to complete surrender is
realized without convulsion.

J. MARTINEAU.



February 24


_These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the
world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the
world_.--JOHN xvi. 33.

  O Thou, the primal fount of life and peace,
    Who shedd'st Thy breathing quiet all around,
  In me command that pain and conflict cease,
    And turn to music every jarring sound.

J. STERLING.

Accustom yourself to unreasonableness and injustice. Abide in peace in the
presence of God, who sees all these evils more clearly than you do, and who
permits them. Be content with doing with calmness the little which depends
upon yourself, and let all else be to you as if it were not.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

It is rare when injustice, or slights patiently borne, do not leave the
heart at the close of the day filled with marvellous joy and peace.

GOLD DUST.



February 25


_But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed
thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by
thy name; thou art mine_.--ISA. xliii. I.

  Thou art as much His care as if beside
    Nor man nor angel lived in heaven or earth;
  Thus sunbeams pour alike their glorious tide,
    To light up worlds, or wake an insect's mirth.

J. KEBLE.

God beholds thee individually, whoever thou art. "He calls thee by thy
name." He sees thee, and understands thee. He knows what is in thee, all
thy own peculiar feelings and thoughts, thy dispositions and likings, thy
strength and thy weakness. He views thee in thy day of rejoicing and thy
day of sorrow. He sympathizes in thy hopes and in thy temptations; He
interests himself in all thy anxieties and thy remembrances, in all the
risings and fallings of thy spirit. He compasses thee round, and bears
thee in His arms; He takes thee up and sets thee down. Thou dost not love
thyself better than He loves thee. Thou canst not shrink from pain more
than He dislikes thy bearing it, and if He puts it on thee, it is as thou
wilt put it on thyself, if thou art wise, for a greater good afterwards.

J. H. NEWMAN.



February 26


_The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon
Him in truth_.--PS. cxlv. 18.

_I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my
fears_.--PS. xxxiv. 4.

  Be Thou, O Rock of Ages, nigh!
    So shall each murmuring thought be gone;
  And grief and fear and care shall fly,
    As clouds before the mid-day sun.

C. WESLEY.

Take courage, and turn your troubles, which are without remedy, into
material for spiritual progress. Often turn to our Lord, who is watching
you, poor frail little being as you are, amid your labors and distractions.
He sends you help, and blesses your affliction. This thought should enable
you to bear your troubles patiently and gently, for love of Him who only
allows you to be tried for your own good. Raise your heart continually to
God, seek His aid, and let the foundation stone of your consolation be your
happiness in being His. All vexations and annoyances will be comparatively
unimportant while you know that you have such a Friend, such a Stay, such a
Refuge. May God be ever in your heart.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



February 27


_Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and
verily thou shalt be fed_.--PS. xxxvii. 3.

  Build a little fence of trust
    Around to-day;
  Fill the space with loving work,
    And therein stay;
  Look not through the sheltering bars
    Upon to-morrow,
  God will help thee bear what comes,
    Of joy or sorrow.

MARY FRANVES BUTTS.

Let us bow our souls and say, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord!" Let us
lift up our hearts and ask, "Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" Then
light from the opened heaven shall stream on our daily task, revealing the
grains of gold, where yesterday all seemed dust; a hand shall sustain us
and our daily burden, so that, smiling at yesterday's fears, we shall say,
"_This is easy, this is light;_" every "lion in the way," as we come up
to it, shall be seen chained, and leave open the gates of the Palace
Beautiful; and to us, even to us, feeble and fluctuating as we are,
ministries shall be assigned, and through our hands blessings shall be
conveyed in which the spirits of just men made perfect might delight.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.



February 28


_Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that
loveth is born of God, and knoweth God_.--I JOHN iv. 7.

  So to the calmly gathered thought
  The innermost of life is taught,
  The mystery dimly understood,
  That love of God is love of good;
  That to be saved is only this,--
  Salvation from our selfishness.

J. G. Whittler.

The Spirit of Love, wherever it is, is its own blessing and happiness,
because it is the truth and reality of God in the soul; and therefore is
in the same joy of life, and is the same good to itself everywhere and on
every occasion. Would you know the blessing of all blessings? It is this
God of Love dwelling in your soul, and killing every root of bitterness,
which is the pain and torment of every earthly, selfish love. For all wants
are satisfied, all disorders of nature are removed, no life is any longer a
burden, every day is a day of peace, everything you meet becomes a help
to you, because everything you see or do is all done in the sweet, gentle
element of Love.

WM. LAW.



February 29


_Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with
healing in his wings_.--MAL. iv. 2.

_O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me_.--PS. xliii. 3.

  Open our eyes, thou Sun of life and gladness,
    That we may see that glorious world of Thine!
  It shines for us in vain, while drooping sadness
    Enfolds us here like mist; come, Power benign,
      Touch our chilled hearts with vernal smile,
      Our wintry course do Thou beguile,
  Nor by the wayside ruins let us mourn,
  Who have th' eternal towers for our appointed bourn.

J. KEBLE.

Because all those scattered rays of beauty and loveliness which we behold
spread up and down over all the world, are only the emanations of that
inexhausted light which is above; therefore should we love them all in
that, and climb up always by those sunbeams unto the eternal Father of
lights: we should look upon Him, and take from Him the pattern of our
lives, and always eying Him, should, as Hierocles speaks, "polish and shape
our souls into the clearest resemblance of Him;" and in all our behavior
in this world (that great temple of His) deport ourselves decently and
reverently, with that humility, meekness, and modesty that becomes His
house.

DR. JOHN SMITH.



March 1


_Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on_.--MATT. vi. 25.

  One there lives whose guardian eye
  Guides our earthly destiny;
  One there lives, who, Lord of all,
  Keeps His children lest they fall;
  Pass we, then, in love and praise,
  Trusting Him through all our days,
  Free from doubt and faithless sorrow,--
  God provideth for the morrow.

R. HEBER.

It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It
is when to-morrow's burden is added to the burden of to-day that the weight
is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you
find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing,
not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him, and mind the present.

G. MACDONALD.

_Cast thy burdens upon the Lord_,--hand it over, heave it upon Him,--_and
He shall sustain thee_; shall bear both, if thou trust Him with both, both
thee and thy burden: _He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved_.

ROBERT LEIGHTON.



March 2


_But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God
is well pleased_.--HEB. xiii. 16.

_For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should
love one another_.--I JOHN iii. 11.

  Be useful where thou livest, that they may
  Both want and wish thy pleasing presence still.
  ...Find out men's wants and will,
  And meet them there. All worldly joys go less
  To the one joy of doing kindnesses.

G. HERBERT.

Let the weakest, let the humblest remember, that in his daily course
he can, if he will, shed around him almost a heaven. Kindly words,
sympathizing attentions, watchfulness against wounding men's
sensitiveness,--these cost very little, but they are priceless in their
value. Are they not almost the staple of our daily happiness? From hour to
hour, from moment to moment, we are supported, blest, by small kindnesses.

F. W. ROBERTSON.

Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually
practised in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character
than the display of great talents and accomplishments.

M. A. KELTY.



March 3


_I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments_.--PS. cxix. 60.

_Ye know not what shall be on the morrow_.--JAMES iv. 14.

      Never delay
  To do the duty which the hour brings,
  Whether it be in great or smaller things;
      For who doth know
  What he shall do the coming day?

ANON.

It is quite impossible that an idle, floating spirit can ever look up with
clear eye to God; spreading its miserable anarchy before the symmetry of
the creative Mind; in the midst of a disorderly being, that has neither
centre nor circumference, kneeling beneath the glorious sky, that
everywhere has both; and for a life that is _all_ failure, turning to the
Lord of the silent stars, of whose punctual thought it is, that "not one
faileth." The heavens, with their everlasting faithfulness, look down on no
sadder contradiction, than the sluggard and the slattern in their prayers.

J. MARTINEAU.



March 4


_But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall
no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and
their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter
destruction: but they are in peace_.--WISDOM OF SOLOMON iii. 1-3.

  But souls that of His own good life partake,
  He loves as His own self; dear as His eye
  They are to Him: He 'll never them forsake:
  When they shall die, then God Himself shall die;
  They live, they live in blest eternity.

HENRY MORE.

Though every good man is not so logically subtile as to be able by fit
mediums to demonstrate his own immortality, yet he sees it in a higher
light: his soul, being purged and enlightened by true sanctity, is
more capable of those divine irradiations, whereby it feels itself in
conjunction with God. It knows that God will never forsake His own life
which He hath quickened in it; He will never deny those ardent desires of
a blissful fruition of Himself, which the lively sense of His own goodness
hath excited within it: those breathings and gaspings after an eternal
participation of Him are but the energy of His own breath within us; if He
had had any mind to destroy it, He would never have shown it such things as
He hath done.

DR. JOHN SMITH.



March 5


_And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is
pure_.--I JOHN iii. 3.

  Now, Lord, what wait I for?
    On Thee alone
  My hope is all rested,--
    Lord, seal me Thine own!
  Only Thine own to be,
  Only to live to Thee.
        Thine, with each day begun,
        Thine, with each set of sun,
        Thine, till my work is done.

ANNA WARNER.

Now, believe me, God hides some ideal in every human soul. At some time in
our life we feel a trembling, fearful longing to do some good thing. Life
finds its noblest spring of excellence in this hidden impulse to do our
best. There is a time when we are not content to be such merchants or
doctors or lawyers as we see on the dead level or below it. The woman longs
to glorify her womanhood as sister, wife, or mother. Here is God,--God
standing silently at the door all day long,--God whispering to the soul,
that to be pure and true is to succeed in life, and whatever we get short
of that will burn up like stubble, though the whole world try to save it.

ROBERT COLLYER.



March 6


_The shadow of a great rock in a weary land_.--ISA. xxxii. 2.

_In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence
shall be your strength_.--ISA. xxx. 15.

  O Shadow in a sultry land!
    We gather to Thy breast,
  Whose love, enfolding like the night,
    Brings quietude and rest,
  Glimpse of the fairer life to be,
    In foretaste here possessed.

C. M. PACKARD.

Strive to see God in all things without exception, and-acquiesce in His
will with absolute submission. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to
Him by a mere upward glance, or by the overflowing of your heart towards
Him. Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do
not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole
world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in
His bosom. Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling
simply to God, trusting to His eternal love for you; and if you find that
you have wandered forth from this shelter, recall your heart quietly and
simply. Maintain a holy simplicity of mind, and do not smother yourself
with a host of cares, wishes, or longings, under any pretext.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



March 7


_There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh
all in all_.--I COR. xii. 6.

_I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I
the Lord do all these things_.--ISA. xlv. 7.

  "All is of God that is, and is to be;
  And God is good." Let this suffice us still,
  Resting in childlike trust upon His will,
  Who moves to His great ends, unthwarted by the ill.

J. G. WHITTIER.

This, then, is of faith, that everything, the very least, or what seems to
us great, every change of the seasons, everything which touches us in mind,
body, or estate, whether brought about through this outward senseless
nature, or by the will of man, good or bad, is overruled to each of us by
the all-holy and all-loving will of God. Whatever befalls us, however it
befalls us, we must receive as the will of God. If it befalls us through
man's negligence, or ill-will, or anger, still it is, in every the least
circumstance, to us the will of God. For if the least thing could happen to
us without God's permission, it would be something out of God's control.
God's providence or His love would not be what they are. Almighty God
Himself would not be the same God; not the God whom we believe, adore, and
love.

E. B. PUSEY.



March 8


_Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed_.--2 TIM. ii. 15.

_And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap if
we faint not_.--GAL. vi. 9.

  The task Thy wisdom hath assigned,
    Oh, let me cheerfully fulfil;
  In all my works Thy presence find,
    And prove Thine acceptable will.

C. WESLEY.

"What is my next duty? What is the thing that lies nearest to me?" "That
belongs to your every-day history. No one can answer that question but
yourself. Your next duty is just to determine what your next duty is. Is
there nothing you neglect? Is there nothing you know you ought not to do?
You would know your duty, if you thought in earnest about it, and were not
ambitious of great things." "Ah, then," responded she, "I suppose it is
something very commonplace, which will make life more dreary than ever.
That cannot help me." "It will, if it be as dreary as reading the
newspapers to an old deaf aunt. It will soon lead you to something more.
Your duty will begin to comfort you at once, but will at length open the
unknown fountain of life in your heart."

G. MACDONALD.



March 9


_Thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine
hands unto_.--DEUT. xii. 18.

_Be ye thankful_.--COL. iii. 15.

  Thou that hast given so much to me,
  Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
  Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
  As if thy blessings had spare days;
  But such a heart, whose pulse may be
                             Thy praise.

G. HERBERT.

If any one would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and all
perfection, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and
praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that
whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for
it, you turn it into a blessing. Could you, therefore, work miracles, you
could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit; for it heals
with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness.

WM. LAW.



March 10


_When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the
rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee_.--ISA.
xliii. 2.

_I am with thee to deliver thee_.--JER. i. 8.

  When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
  The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
  For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless,
  And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

ANON.

Turn it as thou wilt, thou must give thyself to suffer what is appointed
thee. But if we did that, God would bear us up at all times in all our
sorrows and troubles, and God would lay His shoulder under our burdens,
and help us to bear them. For if, with a cheerful courage, we submitted
ourselves to God, no suffering would be unbearable.

J. TAULER.

Learn to be as the angel, who could descend among the miseries of Bethesda
without losing his heavenly purity or his perfect happiness. Gain healing
from troubled waters. Make up your mind to the prospect of sustaining a
certain measure of pain and trouble in your passage through life. By the
blessing of God this will prepare you for it; it will make you thoughtful
and resigned without interfering with your cheerfulness.

J. H. NEWMAN.



March 11


_Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never
suffer the righteous to be moved_.--PS. lv. 22.

  Now our wants and burdens leaving
    To His care who cares for all,
  Cease we fearing, cease we grieving,
    At His touch our burdens fall.

S. LONGFELLOW.

The circumstances of her life she could not alter, but she took them to the
Lord, and handed them over into His management; and then she believed that
He took it, and she left all the responsibility and the worry and anxiety
with Him. As often as the anxieties returned she took them back; and the
result was that, although the circumstances remained unchanged, her soul
was kept in perfect peace in the midst of them. And the secret she found so
effectual in her outward affairs, she found to be still more effectual in
her inward ones, which were in truth even more utterly unmanageable. She
abandoned her whole self to the Lord, with all that she was and all that
she had; and, believing that He took that which she had committed to Him,
she ceased to fret and worry, and her life became all sunshine in the
gladness of belonging to Him. H. W. SMITH.



March 12


_The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon
thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon
thee, and give thee peace_.--NUM. vi. 24-26.

  O Love, how cheering is Thy ray!
    All pain before Thy presence flies;
  Care, anguish, sorrow, melt away,
    Where'er Thy healing beams arise.
  O Father, nothing may I see,
  Nothing desire, or seek, but Thee.

P. GERHARDT.

There is a faith in God, and a clear perception of His will and designs,
and providence, and glory, which gives to its possessor a confidence and
patience and sweet composure, under every varied and troubling aspect of
events, such as no man can realize who has not felt its influences in his
own heart. There is a communion with God, in which the soul feels the
presence of the unseen One, in the profound depths of its being, with a
vivid distinctness and a holy reverence, such as no words can describe.
There is a state of union with God, I do not say often reached, yet it has
been attained in this world, in which all the past and present and future
seem reconciled, and eternity is won and enjoyed; and God and man, earth
and heaven, with all their mysteries, are apprehended in truth as they lie
in the mind of the Infinite.

SAMUEL D. ROBBINS.



March 13


_He that abideth in me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit_.--JOHN xv.
5.

_Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us_.--PS. xc. 17.

  As some rare perfume in a vase of clay
    Pervades it with a fragrance not its own,
  So, when Thou dwellest in a mortal soul,
    All Heaven's own sweetness seems around it thrown.

H. B. STOWE.

Some glances of real beauty may be seen in their faces, who dwell in true
meekness. There is a harmony in the sound of that voice to which Divine
love gives utterance, and some appearance of right order in their temper
and conduct whose passions are regulated.

JOHN WOOLMAN.

I believe that no Divine truth can truly dwell in any heart, without an
external testimony in manner, bearing, and appearance, that must reach the
witness within the heart of the beholder, and bear an unmistakable, though
silent, evidence to the eternal principle from which it emanates.

M. A. SCHIMMELPENNINCK.



March 14


_I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt hear me, O God: incline Thine ear
unto me, and hear my speech_.--PS. xvii. 6.

_Ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us_.--PS.
lxii. 8.

  Whate'er the care which breaks thy rest,
  Whate'er the wish that swells thy breast;
  Spread before God that wish, that care,
  And change anxiety to prayer.

JANE CREWDSON.

Trouble and perplexity drive us to prayer, and prayer driveth away trouble
and perplexity.

P. MELANCTHON.

Whatsoever it is that presses thee, go tell thy Father; put over the matter
into His hand, and so thou shalt be freed from that dividing, perplexing
care that the world is full of. When thou art either to do or suffer
anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it,
and acquaint Him with it; yea, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for
matter of caring; no more care, but quiet, sweet diligence in thy duty,
and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters. Roll thy cares, and
thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God.

R. LEIGHTON.



March 15


_Hear me, O Lord. for Thy loving-kindness is good: turn unto me according
to the multitude of Thy tender mercies_.--PS. lxix. 16.

_Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to
Thy word unto Thy servant_.--PS. cxix. 76.

  Love divine has seen and counted
    Every tear it caused to fall;
  And the storm which Love appointed
    Was its choicest gift of all.

ANON.

O that thou couldst dwell in the knowledge and sense of this! even, that
the Lord beholds thy sufferings with an eye of pity; and is able, not only
to uphold thee under them, but also to do thee good by them. Therefore,
grieve not at thy lot, be not discontented, look not out at the hardness of
thy condition; but, when the storm and matters of vexation are sharp, look
up to Him who can give meekness and patience, can lift up thy head over
all, and cause thy life to grow, and be a gainer by all. If the Lord God
help thee proportionably to thy condition of affliction and distress, thou
wilt have no cause to complain, but to bless His name.

I. PENINGTON.


March 16


_Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God_.--I COR. x. 31.

_With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not unto men_.--EPH. vi.
7.

  A Servant, with this clause,
    Makes drudgery divine:
  Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws,
    Makes that and th' action fine.

G. HERBERT.

Surely the truth must be, that whatsoever in our daily life is lawful and
right for us to be engaged in, is in itself a part of our obedience to
God; a part, that is, of our very religion. Whensoever we hear people
complaining of obstructions and hindrances put by the duties of life in the
way of devoting themselves to God, we may be sure they are under some false
view or other. They do not look upon their daily work as the task God has
set them, and as obedience due to Him. We may go farther; and say, not only
that the duties of life, be they never so toilsome and distracting, are no
obstructions to a life of any degree of inward holiness; but that they are
even direct means, when rightly used, to promote our sanctification.

H. E. MANNING.



March 17


_Where hast thou gleaned to-day_?--RUTH ii. 19.

  What have I learnt where'er I've been,
  From all I've heard, from all I've seen?
  What know I more that's worth the knowing?
  What have I done that's worth the doing?
  What have I sought that I should shun?
  What duties have I left undone?

PYTHAGORAS.

All of this world will soon have passed away. But God will remain, and
thou, whatever thou hast become, good or bad. Thy deeds now are the
seed-corn of eternity. Each single act, in each several day, good or bad,
is a portion of that seed. Each day adds some line, making thee more or
less like Him, more or less capable of His love.

E. B. PUSEY.

There is something very solemn in the thought that that part of our work
which we have left undone may first be revealed to us at the end of a life
filled up, as we had fondly hoped, with useful and necessary employments.

SARAH W. STEPHEN.



March 18


_Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as
brethren, be pitiful, be courteous_.--I PETER iii. 8.

  Make us of one heart and mind;
  Courteous, pitiful, and kind;
  Lowly, meek, in thought and word,
  Altogether like our Lord.

C. WESLEY.

A little thought will show you how vastly your own happiness depends on the
way other people bear themselves toward you. The looks and tones at your
breakfast-table, the conduct of your fellow-workers or employers, the
faithful or unreliable men you deal with, what people say to you on the
street, the way your cook and housemaid do their work, the letters you
get, the friends or foes you meet,--these things make up very much of the
pleasure or misery of your day. Turn the idea around, and remember that
just so much are you adding to the pleasure or the misery of other people's
days. And this is the half of the matter which you can control. Whether
any particular day shall bring to you more of happiness or of suffering is
largely beyond your power to determine. Whether each day of your life shall
give happiness or suffering rests with yourself.

GEORGE S. MERRIAM.


March 19


_Showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our
Saviour in all things_.--TITUS ii. 10.

  If on our daily course our mind
  Be set to hallow all we find,
  New treasures still, of countless price,
  God will provide for sacrifice.

J. KEBLE

If content and thankfulness, if the patient bearing of evil, be duties to
God, they are the duties of every day, and in every circumstance of our
life. If we are to follow Christ, it must be in our common way of spending
every day.

WM. LAW.

He who is faithful over a few things is a lord of cities. It does not
matter whether you preach in Westminster Abbey, or teach a ragged class, so
you be faithful. The faithfulness is all.

G. MACDONALD.

I would have you invoke God often through the day, asking Him to kindle a
love for your vocation within you, and saying with St. Paul, "'Lord, what
wouldst Thou have me to do?' Wouldst Thou have me serve Thee in the lowest
ministries of Thy house? too happy if I may but serve Thee anyhow." And
when any special thing is repugnant to you, ask "Wouldst Thou have me do
it? Then, unworthy though I be, I will do it gladly."

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



March 20


_Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou
serve_.--MATT. iv. 10.

_Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the
whole heart_.--PS. cxix. 2.

  The comfort of a mind at rest
  From every care Thou hast not blest;
  A heart from all the world set free,
  To worship and to wait on Thee.

A. L. WARING.

Resign every forbidden joy; restrain every wish that is not referred to His
will; banish all eager desires, all anxiety. Desire only the will of God;
seek Him alone, and you will find peace.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

"I've been a great deal happier since I have given up thinking about what
is easy and pleasant, and being discontented because I couldn't have my own
will. Our life is determined for us; and it makes the mind very free when
we give up wishing, and only think of bearing what is laid upon us, and
doing what is given us to do."

GEORGE ELIOT.



March 21


_Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these
things_.--MATT. vi. 32.

  All as God wills, who wisely heeds
    To give or to withhold;
  And knoweth more of all my needs
    Than all my prayers have told.

J. G. WHITTIER.

Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee; Thou only knowest what I
need; Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself. O Father! give
to Thy child that which he himself knows not how to ask. I dare not ask
either for crosses or consolations; I simply present myself before Thee; I
open my heart to Thee. Behold my needs which I know not myself; see, and do
according to Thy tender mercy. Smite, or heal; depress me, or raise me up;
I adore all Thy purposes without knowing them; I am silent; I offer myself
in sacrifice; I yield myself to Thee; I would have no other desire than to
accomplish Thy will. Teach me to pray; pray Thyself in me.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



March 22


_He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and
little_.--ECCLESIASTICUS xix. I.

  One finger's-breadth at hand will mar
  A world of light in heaven afar,
  A mote eclipse a glorious star,
      An eyelid hide the sky.

J. KEBLE.

A single sin, however apparently trifling, however hidden in some
obscure corner of our consciousness,--a sin _which we do not intend to
renounce_,--is enough to render real prayer impracticable. A course of
action not wholly upright and honorable, feelings not entirely kind and
loving, habits not spotlessly chaste and temperate,--any of these are
impassable obstacles. If we know of a kind act which we might, but do not
intend to, perform,--if we be aware that our moral health requires the
abandonment of some pleasure which yet we do not intend to abandon, here is
cause enough for the loss of all spiritual power.

F. P. COBBE.

It is astonishing how soon the whole conscience begins to unravel, if a
single stitch drops; one little sin indulged makes a hole you could put
your head through.

CHARLES BUXTON.



March 23


_Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest_.--3 JOHN 5.

_And this also we wish, even your perfection_.--2 COR. xiii. 9.

  In all the little things of life,
    Thyself, Lord, may I see;
  In little and in great alike
    Reveal Thy love to me.

  So shall my undivided life
    To Thee, my God, be given;
  And all this earthly course below
    Be one dear path to heaven.

H. BONAR.

In order to mould thee into entire conformity to His will, He must have
thee pliable in His hands, and this pliability is more quickly reached
by yielding in the little things than even by the greater. Thy one great
desire is to follow Him fully; canst thou not say then a continual "yes" to
all His sweet commands, whether small or great, and trust Him to lead thee
by the shortest road to thy fullest blessedness?

H. W. SMITH.

With meekness, humility, and diligence, apply yourself to the duties of
your condition. They are the seemingly little things which make no noise
that do the business.

HENRY MORE.



March 24


_I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest
me dwell in safety_.--PS. iv. 8.

_He giveth His beloved sleep_.--PS. cxxvii. 2.

  He guides our feet, He guards our way,
  His morning smiles bless all the day;
  He spreads the evening veil, and keeps
  The silent hours while Israel sleeps.

I. WATTS.

We sleep in peace in the arms of God, when we yield ourselves up to His
providence, in a delightful consciousness of His tender mercies; no more
restless uncertainties, no more anxious desires, no more impatience at the
place we are in; for it is God who has put us there, and who holds us in
His arms. Can we be unsafe where He has placed us?

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

One evening when Luther saw a little bird perched on a tree, to roost there
for the night, he said, "This little bird has had its supper, and now it
is getting ready to go to sleep here, quite secure and content, never
troubling itself what its food will be, or where its lodging on the morrow.
Like David, it 'abides under the shadow of the Almighty.' It sits on its
little twig content, and lets God take care."

MARTIN LUTHER.



March 25


_I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His
people_.--PS. lxxxv. 8.

  There is a voice, "a still, small voice" of love,
    Heard from above;
  But not amidst the din of earthly sounds,
    Which here confounds;
  By those withdrawn apart it best is heard,
  And peace, sweet peace, breathes in each gentle word.

ANONYMOUS.

He speaketh, but it is with us to hearken or no. It is much, yea, it is
everything, not to turn away the ear, to be willing to hearken, not to
drown His voice. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." It is
a secret, hushed voice, a gentle intercourse of heart to heart, a still,
small voice, whispering to the inner ear. How should we hear it, if we fill
our ears and our hearts with the din of this world, its empty tumult, its
excitement, its fretting vanities, or cares, or passions, or anxieties, or
show, or rivalries, and its whirl of emptinesses?

E. B. PUSEY.


March 26


_Are they not all ministering spirits_?--HEB. i. 14

      May I reach
  That purest heaven, be to other souls
  The cup of strength in some great agony,
  Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
  Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
  And in diffusion ever more intense!
  So shall I join the choir invisible
  Whose music is the gladness of the world.

GEORGE ELIOT.

Certainly, in our own little sphere it is not the most active people to
whom we owe the most. Among the common people whom we know, it is not
necessarily those who are busiest, not those who, meteor-like, are ever
on the rush after some visible charge and work. It is the lives, like the
stars, which simply pour down on us the calm light of their bright and
faithful being, up to which we look and out of which we gather the deepest
calm and courage. It seems to me that there is reassurance here for many of
us who seem to have no chance for active usefulness. We can do nothing for
our fellow-men. But still it is good to know that we can be something for
them; to know (and this we may know surely) that no man or woman of the
humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure, and good, without the
world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by
the very existence of that goodness.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.



March 27


_If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in
us_.--I JOHN iv. 12.

_And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And
hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given
us_.--I JOHN iii. 24.

  Abide in me; o'ershadow by Thy love
  Each half-formed purpose and dark thought of sin;
  Quench, ere it rise, each selfish, low desire,
  And keep my soul as Thine, calm and divine.

H. B. STOWE.

The Spirit of Love must work the works, and speak the tones, of Love. It
cannot exist and give no sign, or a false sign. It cannot be a spirit of
Love, and mantle into irritable and selfish impatience. It cannot be a
spirit of Love, and at the same time make self the prominent object. It
cannot rejoice to lend itself to the happiness of others, and at the same
time be seeking its own. It cannot be generous, and envious. It cannot be
sympathizing, and unseemly; self-forgetful, and vain-glorious. It cannot
delight in the rectitude and purity of other hearts, as the spiritual
elements of their peace, and yet unnecessarily suspect them.

J. H. THOM.



March 28


_Giving thanks always for all things unto God_.--EPH. v. 20.

  For blessings of the fruitful season,
    For work and rest, for friends and home,
  For the great gifts of thought and reason,--
    To praise and bless Thee, Lord, we come.

  Yes, and for weeping and for wailing,
    For bitter hail and blighting frost,
  For high hopes on the low earth trailing,
    For sweet joys missed, for pure aims crossed.

E. SCUDDER.

Notwithstanding all that I have suffered, notwithstanding all the pain and
weariness and anxiety and sorrow that necessarily enter into life, and the
inward errings that are worse than all, I would end my record with a devout
thanksgiving to the great Author of my being. For more and more am
I unwilling to make my gratitude to Him what is commonly called "a
thanksgiving for mercies,"--for any benefits or blessings that are
peculiar to myself, or my friends, or indeed to any man. Instead of this,
I would have it to be gratitude for _all_ that belongs to my life and
being,--for joy and sorrow, for health and sickness, for success and
disappointment, for virtue and for temptation, for life and death; because
I believe that all is meant for good.

ORVILLE DEWEY.



March 29


_There shall no evil befall thee_.--PS. xci. 10.

_Whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear
of evil_.--PROV. i. 33.

  I ask not, "Take away this weight of care;"
  No, for that love I pray that all can bear,
    And for the faith that whatsoe'er befall
  Must needs be good, and for my profit prove,
  Since from my Father's heart most rich in love,
    And from His bounteous hands it cometh all.

C. J. P. SPITTA.

Be like the promontory, against which the waves continually break; but
it stands firm, and tames the fury of the water around it. Unhappy am I,
because this has happened to me? Not so, but happy am I, though this has
happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the
present, nor fearing the future. Will then this which has happened prevent
thee from being just, magnanimous, temperate, prudent, secure against
inconsiderate opinions and falsehood? Remember, too, on every occasion
which leads thee to vexation to apply this principle: that this is not a
misfortune, but that to bear it nobly is good fortune.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



March 30


_Thou shall guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to
glory_.--PS. lxxiii. 24.

_There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God_.--HEB. iv. 9.

  Guide us through life; and when at last
    We enter into rest,
  Thy tender arms around us cast,
    And fold us to Thy breast.

H. F. LYTE.

Go forth to meet the solemnities and to conquer the trials of existence,
believing in a Shepherd of your souls. Then faith in Him will support you
in duty, and duty firmly done will strengthen faith; till at last, when all
is over here, and the noise and strife of the earthly battle fades upon
your dying ear, and you hear, instead thereof, the deep and musical sound
of the ocean of eternity, and see the lights of heaven shining on its
waters still and fair in their radiant rest, your faith will raise the song
of conquest, and in its retrospect of the life which has ended, and its
forward glance upon the life to come, take up the poetic inspiration of the
Hebrew king, "Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my
life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

STOPFORD A. BROOKE.



March 31


_Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts
of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know that thy
tabernacle shall be in peace_.--JOB v. 23, 24.

  Love had he found in huts where poor men lie;
  His daily teachers had been woods and rills,
  The silence that is in the starry sky,
  The sleep that is among the lonely hills.

  W. Wordsworth.

That spirit which suffices quiet hearts, which seems to come forth to
such from every dry knoll of sere grass, from every pine-stump, and
half-embedded stone, on which the dull March sun shines, comes forth to the
poor and hungry, and to such as are of simple taste. If thou fill thy brain
with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate
thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shall find no radiance
of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pine-woods.

R. W. EMERSON.

As a countenance is made beautiful by the soul's shining through it, so the
world is beautiful by the shining through it of a God.

FRIEDRICH HEINRICH JACOBI.



April 1


_For Thou Invest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which Thou
hast made: for never wouldest Thou have made any thing, if Thou hadst
hated it. But Thou sparest all: for they are Thine, O Lord, Thou lover of
souls_.--WISDOM OF SOLOMON xi. 24, 26.

  He prayeth well who loveth well
    Both man and bird and beast;
  He prayeth best who loveth best
    All things both great and small;
  For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.

S. T. COLERIDGE.

To know that Love alone was the beginning of nature and creature, that
nothing but Love encompasses the whole universe of things, that the
governing Hand that overrules all, the watchful Eye that sees through all,
is nothing but omnipotent and omniscient Love, using an infinity of wisdom,
to save every misguided creature from the miserable works of its own hands,
and make happiness and glory the perpetual inheritance of all the creation,
is a reflection that must be quite ravishing to every intelligent creature
that is sensible of it.

WM. LAW.



April 2


_Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you_?--I COR. iii. 16.

  Father! replenish with Thy grace
    This longing heart of mine;
  Make it Thy quiet dwelling-place,
    Thy sacred inmost shrine!

JOHANN SCHEFFLER.

Not man's manifold labors, but his manifold cares, hinder the presence of
God. Whatsoever thou doest, hush thyself to thine own feverish vanities,
and busy thoughts, and cares; in silence seek thy Father's face, and the
light of His countenance will stream down upon thee. He will make a secret
cell in thine heart, and when thou enterest there, there shalt thou find
Him. And if thou hast found Him there, all around shall reflect Him, all
shall speak to Him, and He will speak through all. Outwardly thou mayest be
doing the work of thy calling; inwardly if thou commend thy work to God,
thou mayest be with Him in the third Heaven.

E. B. PUSEY.



April 3


_As for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do_.--DEUT.
xviii. 14.

  Lord, for the erring thought
  Not into evil wrought;
  Lord, for the wicked will
  Betrayed and baffled still;
  For the heart from itself kept,
  Our Thanksgiving accept.

W. D. HOWELLS.

What an amazing, what a blessed disproportion between the evil we do, and
the evil we are capable of doing, and seem sometimes on the very verge
of doing! If my soul has grown tares, when it was full of the seeds of
nightshade, how happy ought I to be! And that the tares have not wholly
strangled the wheat, what a wonder it is! We ought to thank God daily for
the sins we have not committed.

F. W. FABER.

We give thanks often with a tearful, doubtful voice, for our spiritual
mercies _positive_; but what an almost infinite field there is for mercies
negative! We cannot even imagine all that God has suffered us _not_ to do,
_not_ to be.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

You are surprised at your imperfections--why? I should infer from that,
that your self-knowledge is small. Surely, you might rather be astonished
that you do not fall into more frequent and more grievous faults, and thank
God for His upholding grace.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



April 4


_Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of
thy Lord_.--MATT. xxv. 23.

  O father! help us to resign
    Our hearts, our strength, our wills to Thee;
  Then even lowliest work of Thine
    Most noble, blest, and sweet will be.

H. M. KIMBALL.

Nothing is too little to be ordered by our Father; nothing too little in
which to see His hand; nothing, which touches our souls, too little to
accept from Him; nothing too little to be done to Him.

E. B. PUSEY.

A soul occupied with great ideas best performs small duties; the divinest
views of life penetrate most clearly into the meanest emergencies; so far
from petty principles being best proportioned to petty trials, a heavenly
spirit taking up its abode with us can alone sustain well the daily toils,
and tranquilly pass the humiliations of our condition.

J. MARTINEAU.

Whoso neglects a thing which he suspects he ought to do, because it seems
to him too small a thing, is deceiving himself; it is not too little, but
too great for him, that he doeth it not.

E. B. PUSEY.



April 5


_Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not
bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him_.--I KINGS xix.
18.

He went down to the great school with a glimmering of another lesson in
his heart,--the lesson that he who has conquered his own coward spirit has
conquered the whole outward world; and that other one which the old prophet
learnt in the cave in Mount Horeb, when he hid his face, and the still
small voice asked, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" that however we may
fancy ourselves alone on the side of good, the King and Lord of men is
nowhere without His witnesses; for in every society, however seemingly
corrupt and godless, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

THOMAS HUGHES.

So, then, Elijah's life had been no failure, after all. Seven thousand at
least in Israel had been braced and encouraged by his example, and silently
blessed him, perhaps, for the courage which they felt. In God's world, for
those who are in earnest there is no failure. No work truly done, no word
earnestly spoken, no sacrifice freely made, was ever made in vain.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



April 6


_In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my
soul_.--PS. xciv. 19.

_Perplexed, but not in despair; cast down, but not destroyed_.--2 COR. iv.
8, 9.

  Discouraged in the work of life,
    Disheartened by its load,
  Shamed by its failures or its fears,
    I sink beside the road;--
  But let me only think of Thee,
  And then new heart springs up in me.

S. LONGFELLOW.

Discouragement is an inclination to give up all attempts after the devout
life, in consequence of the difficulties by which it is beset, and our
already numerous failures in it. We lose heart; and partly in ill-temper,
partly in real doubt of our own ability to persevere, we first grow
querulous and peevish with God, and then relax in our efforts to mortify
ourselves and to please Him. It is a sort of shadow of despair, and will
lead us into numberless venial sins the first half-hour we give way to it.

F. W. FABER.

Never let us be discouraged with ourselves; it is not when we are conscious
of our faults that we are the most wicked; on the contrary, we are less so.
We see by a brighter light; and let us remember, for our consolation, that
we never perceive our sins till we begin to cure them.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



April 7


_That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of
God_.--ROM. xii. 2.

  Thou knowest what is best;
    And who but Thee, O God, hath power to know?
  In Thy great will my trusting heart shall rest;
    Beneath that will my humble head shall bow.

T. C. UPHAM.

To those who are His, all things are not only easy to be borne, but even to
be gladly chosen. Their will is united to that will which moves heaven and
earth, which gives laws to angels, and rules the courses of the world. It
is a wonderful gift of God to man, of which we that know so little
must needs speak little. To be at the centre of that motion, where is
everlasting rest; to be sheltered in the peace of God; even now to dwell in
heaven, where all hearts are stayed, and all hopes fulfilled. "Thou shalt
keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."

H. E. MANNING.

Study to follow His will in all, to have no will but His. This is thy duty,
and thy wisdom. Nothing is gained by spurning and struggling but to hurt
and vex thyself; but by complying all is gained--sweet peace. It is the
very secret, the mystery of solid peace within, to resign all to His will,
to be disposed of at His pleasure, without the least contrary thought.

R. LEIGHTON.



April 8


_The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want_.--PS. xxiii. 1.

_They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing_.--PS. xxxiv. 10.

  God, who the universe doth hold
    In his fold,
  Is my shepherd kind and heedful,
  Is my shepherd, and doth keep
    Me, his sheep,
  Still supplied with all things needful.

  F. Davison.

_Who_ is it that is your shepherd? The Lord! Oh, my friends, what a
wonderful announcement! The Lord God of heaven and earth, the almighty
Creator of all things, He who holds the universe in His hand as though it
were a very little thing,--HE is your shepherd, and has charged Himself
with the care and keeping of you, as a shepherd is charged with the care
and keeping of his sheep. If your hearts could really take in this thought,
you would never have a fear or a care again; for with such a shepherd, how
could it be possible for you ever to want any good thing?

H. W. Smith.



April 9


_Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation_.--MATT. xxvi. 41.

  I want a sober mind,
    A self-renouncing will,
  That tramples down and casts behind
    The baits of pleasing ill;
  A spirit still prepared,
    And armed with jealous care,
  Forever standing on its guard,
    And watching unto prayer.

C. WESLEY.

When you say, "Lead us not into temptation," you must in good earnest mean
to avoid in your daily conduct those temptations which you have already
suffered from. When you say, "Deliver us from evil," you must mean to
struggle against that evil in your hearts, which you are conscious of, and
which you pray to be forgiven. To watch and pray are surely in our power,
and by these means we are certain of getting strength. You feel your
weakness; you fear to be overcome by temptation; then keep out of the way
of it. This is watching. Avoid society which is likely to mislead you; flee
from the very shadow of evil; you cannot be too careful; better be a little
too strict than a little too easy,--it is the safer side. Abstain from
reading books which are dangerous to you. Turn from bad thoughts when they
arise.

J. H. NEWMAN.



April 10


_Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing
God. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto
men_.--COL. iii. 22, 23.

  Teach me, my God and King,
    In all things Thee to see,
  And what I do in anything,
    To do it as for Thee.

G. HERBERT.

There is no action so slight nor so mean but it may be done to a great
purpose, and ennobled thereby; nor is any purpose so great but that
slight actions may help it, and may be so done as to help it much, most
especially, that chief of all purposes--the pleasing of God.

J. RUSKIN.

Every duty, even the least duty, involves the whole principle of obedience.
And little duties make the will _dutiful_, that is, supple and prompt to
obey. Little obediences lead into great. The daily round of duty is full of
probation and of discipline; it trains the will, heart, and conscience.
We need not to be prophets or apostles. The commonest life may be full
of perfection. The duties of home are a discipline for the ministries of
heaven.

H. E. MANNING.



April 11


_Wherefore, beloved... be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace,
without spot, and blameless_,--2 PETER iii. 14.

  His conscience knows no secret stings,
    While grace and joy combine
  To form a life whose holy springs
    Are hidden and divine.

I. WATTS

Even the smallest discontent of conscience may render turbid the whole
temper of the mind; but only produce the effort that restores its peace,
and over the whole atmosphere a breath of unexpected purity is spread;
doubt and irritability pass as clouds away; the withered sympathies of
earth and home open their leaves and live; and through the clearest blue
the deep is seen of the heaven where God resides.

J. MARTINEAU.

The state of mind which is described as meekness, or quietness of spirit,
is characterized in a high degree by inward harmony. There is not, as
formerly, that inward jarring of thought contending with thought, and
conscience asserting rights which it could not maintain.

T. C. UPHAM.



April 12


_Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God
of love and peace shall be with you_.--2 COR. xiii. 11.

_He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
he hath not seen_?--I JOHN iv. 20.

  Lord! subdue our selfish will;
    Each to each our tempers suit,
  By Thy modulating skill,
    Heart to heart, as lute to lute.

C. WESLEY.

It requires far more of the constraining love of Christ to love our cousins
and neighbors as members of the heavenly family, than to feel the heart
warm to our suffering brethren in Tuscany or Madeira. To love the whole
Church is one thing; to love--that is, to delight in the graces and veil
the defects--of the person who misunderstood me and opposed my plans
yesterday, whose peculiar infirmities grate on my most sensitive feelings,
or whose natural faults are precisely those from which my natural character
most revolts, is quite another.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.



April 13


_In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved
us_.--ROM. viii. 37.

  Thus my soul before her God
    Lieth still, nor speaketh more,
  Conqueror thus o'er pain and wrong,
    That once smote her to the core;
  Like a silent ocean, bright
  With her God's great praise and light.

J. J. WINCKLER.

My mind is forever closed against embarrassment and perplexity, against
uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety; my heart against grief and desire. Calm
and unmoved, I look down on all things, for I know that I cannot explain a
single event, nor comprehend its connection with that which alone concerns
me. In His world all things prosper; this satisfies me, and in this belief
I stand fast as a rock. My breast is steeled against annoyance on account
of personal offences and vexations, or exultation in personal merit; for my
whole personality has disappeared in the contemplation of the purpose of my
being.

J. G. FICHTE.


April 14


_All thing are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or
life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye
are Christ's; and Christ is God's_.--I COR. iii. 21, 22, 23.

_As having nothing, and yet possessing all things_,--2 COR. vi. 10.

  Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
  As more of heaven in each we see:
  Some softening gleam of love and prayer
  Shall dawn on every cross and care.

J. KEBLE.

Out of love and hatred, out of earnings, and borrowings, and lendings, and
losses; out of sickness and pain, out of wooing and worshipping; out of
travelling, and voting, and watching, and caring; out of disgrace and
contempt, comes our tuition in the serene and beautiful laws. Let him not
slur his lesson; let him learn it by heart. Let him endeavor exactly,
bravely, and cheerfully, to solve the problem of that life which is set
before _him_. And this, by punctual action, and not by promises or dreams.
Believing, as in God, in the presence and favor of the grandest influences,
let him deserve that favor, and learn how to receive and use it, by
fidelity also to the lower observances.

R. W. EMERSON.



April 15


_We know that all things work together for good to them that love
God_.--ROM. viii. 28.

_As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good_.--GEN.
1. 20.

  Ill that He blesses is our good,
    And unblest good is ill;
    And all is right that seems most wrong,
  If it be His sweet Will.

F. W. FABER.

To those who know themselves, all things work together for good, and all
things seem to be, as they are to them, good. The goods which God gives
seem "very good," and God Himself in them, because they know that they
deserve them not. The evils which God allows and overrules seem also "very
good," because they see in them His loving hand, put forth to heal them of
what shuts out God from the soul. They love God intensely, in that He is so
good to them in each, and every, the least good, because it is more than
they deserve: how much more in the greatest! They love God for every, and
each, the very greatest of what seem evils, knowing them to be, from His
love, real goods. For He by whom "all the hairs of our head are numbered,"
and who "knoweth whereof we are made," directs everything which befalls us
in life, in perfect wisdom and love, to the well-being of our souls.

E. B. PUSEY.


April 16


_The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole
spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless. Faithful is He that
calleth you, who also will do it_.--I THESS. v. 23, 24.

  Be still, my soul!--the Lord is on thy side;
    Bear patiently the cross of grief and pain;
  Leave to thy God to order and provide,--
    In every change He faithful will remain.

HYMNS FROM THE LAND OF LUTHER.

It was no relief from temporal evils that the Apostle promised. No; the
mercy of God might send them to the stake, or the lions; it was still His
mercy, if it but kept them "unspotted from the world." It might expose
them to insult, calumny, and wrong; they received it still as mercy, if it
"established them in every good word and work." O brethren! how many of
_you_ are content with _such_ faithfulness as this on the part of your
heavenly Father? Is this, indeed, the tone and tenor of your prayers?

WM. ARCHER BUTLER.

The highest pinnacle of the spiritual life is not happy joy in unbroken
sunshine, but absolute and undoubting trust in the love of God.

A. W. THOROLD.



April 17


_Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust_.--PS. xl. 4.

_That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life_.--I TIM. ii. 2.

  Just to let thy Father do
    What He will;
  Just to know that He is true,
    And be still;
  Just to trust Him, this is all!
    Then the day will surely be
  Peaceful, whatsoe'er befall,
    Bright and blessed, calm and free.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

Every morning compose your soul for a tranquil day, and all through it be
careful often to recall your resolution, and bring yourself back to it, so
to say. If something discomposes you, do not be upset, or troubled; but
having discovered the fact, humble yourself gently before God, and try to
bring your mind into a quiet attitude. Say to yourself, "Well, I have made
a false step; now I must go more carefully and watchfully." Do this each
time, however frequently you fall. When you are at peace use it profitably,
making constant acts of meekness, and seeking to be calm even in the most
trifling things. Above all, do not be discouraged; be patient; wait; strive
to attain a calm, gentle spirit.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



April 18


_What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God,
to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God
with all thy heart and with all thy soul_?--DEUT. x. 12.

  What asks our Father of His children save
    Justice and mercy and humility,
    A reasonable service of good deeds,
    Pure living, tenderness to human needs,
  Reverence, and trust, and prayer for light to see
    The Master's footprints in our daily ways?
      No knotted scourge, nor sacrificial knife,
      But the calm beauty of an ordered life
  Whose every breathing is unworded praise.

J. G. WHITTIER.

Give up yourself to God without reserve; in singleness of heart meeting
everything that every day brings forth, as something that comes from God,
and is to be received and gone through by you, in such an heavenly use
of it, as you would suppose the holy Jesus would have done in such
occurrences. This is an attainable degree of perfection.

WM. LAW.

We ought to measure our actual lot, and to fulfil it; to be with all our
strength that which our lot requires and allows. What is beyond it, is no
calling of ours. How much peace, quiet, confidence, and strength, would
people attain, if they would go by this plain rule.

H. E. MANNING.



April 19


_The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him_.--EZRA viii.
22.

_Into Thy hand I commit my spirit_.--PS. xxxi. 5.

  Thou layest Thy hand on the fluttering heart,
    And sayest, "Be still!"
  The silence and shadow are only a part
    Of Thy sweet will;
  Thy presence is with me, and where Thou art
    I fear no ill.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts, and
then thou wilt feel the principle of God, to turn thy mind to the Lord God,
from whom life comes; whereby thou mayest receive His strength, and power
to allay all blustering storms and tempests. That is it which works up into
patience, into innocency, into soberness, into stillness, into stayedness,
into quietness, up to God with His power. Therefore be still awhile from
thy own thoughts, searching, seeking, desires, and imaginations, and be
stayed in the principle of God in thee, that it may raise thy mind up to
God, and stay it upon God; and thou wilt find strength from Him, and find
Him to be a God at hand, a present help in the time of trouble and need.

GEORGE FOX.



April 20


_I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my
cry_.--PS. xl. 1.

_Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience,
hope,_--ROM. v. 3, 4.

  Lord, we have wandered forth through doubt and sorrow,
    And Thou hast made each step an onward one;
  And we will ever trust each unknown morrow,--
    Thou wilt sustain us till its work is done.

S. JOHNSON.

It is possible, when the future is dim, when our depressed faculties can
form no bright ideas of the perfection and happiness of a better world,--it
is possible still to cling to the conviction of God's merciful purpose
towards His creatures, of His parental goodness even in suffering; still
to feel that the path of duty, though trodden with a heavy heart, leads
to peace; still to be true to conscience; still to do our work, to resist
temptation, to be useful, though with diminished energy, to give up our
wills when we cannot rejoice under God's mysterious providence. In this
patient, though uncheered obedience, we become prepared for light. The soul
gathers force.

WM. E. CHANNING.



April 21


_Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is
perfect_.--MATT. v. 48.

_As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with Thy likeness_.--PS. xvii. 15.

  The righteousness he marks in Thee
    His will to right doth win;
  Delighting in Thy purity,
    He deeply drinks it in.

T. H. GILL.

To love God is to love His character. For instance, God is Purity. And
to be pure in thought and look, to turn away from unhallowed books and
conversation, to abhor the moments in which we have not been pure, is
to love God. God is Love; and to love men till private attachments have
expanded into a philanthropy which embraces all,--at last even the evil and
enemies with compassion,--that is to love God. God is Truth. To be true,
to hate every form of falsehood, to live a brave, true, real life,--that is
to love God. God is Infinite; and to love the boundless, reaching on from
grace to grace, adding charity to faith, and rising upwards ever to see the
Ideal still above us, and to die with it unattained, aiming insatiably to
be perfect even as the Father is perfect,--that is to love God.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



April 22


_Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory_.--I PETER i.
8.

  If our love were but more simple,
    We should take Him at His word;
  And our lives would be all sunshine
    In the sweetness of our Lord.

F. W. FABER.

What would it be to love absolutely a Being absolutely lovely,--to be able
to give our whole existence, every thought, every act, every desire, to
that adored One,--to know that He accepts it all, and loves us in return as
God alone can love? This happiness grows forever. The larger our natures
become, the wider our scope of thought, the stronger our will, the more
fervent our affections, the deeper must be the rapture of such God-granted
prayer. Every sacrifice _resolved on_ opens wide the gate; every sacrifice
_accomplished_ is a step towards the paradise within. Soon it will be no
transitory glimpse, no rapture of a day, to be followed by clouds and
coldness. Let us but labor, and pray, and wait, and the intervals of human
frailty shall grow shorter and less dark, the days of our delight in God
longer and brighter, till at last life shall be nought but His love, our
eyes shall never grow dim, His smile never turn away.

F. B. COBBE.



April 23


_These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges:
there they dwelt with the king for his work_.--I CHRON. iv. 23.

  A lowlier task on them is laid,
    With love to make the labor light;
  And there their beauty they must shed
    On quiet homes, and lost to sight.
  Changed are their visions high and fair,
  Yet, calm and still, they labor there.

HYMNS OF THE AGES.

Anywhere and everywhere we may dwell "with the King for His work." We may
be in a very unlikely or unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal
country life, with little enough to be seen of the "goings" of the
King around us; it may be among hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all
directions; it may be, furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of
pottery for our daily task. No matter! The King who placed us "there" will
come and dwell there with us; the hedges are all right, or He would soon do
away with them; and it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way
may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is
just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it
is, for the present, "His work."

F. R. HAVERGAL.



April 24


_Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ_.--GAL. vi.
2.

  Is thy cruse of comfort wasting?
    Rise and share it with another,
  And through all the years of famine,
    It shall serve thee and thy brother.
  Is thy burden hard and heavy?
    Do thy steps drag heavily?
  Help to bear thy brother's burden;
    God will bear both it and thee.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.

However perplexed you may at any hour become about some question of truth,
one refuge and resource is always at hand: you can do something for some
one besides yourself. When your own burden is heaviest, you can always
lighten a little some other burden. At the times when you cannot see God,
there is still open to you this sacred possibility, to _show_ God; for it
is the love and kindness of human hearts through which the divine reality
comes home to men, whether they name it or not. Let this thought, then,
stay with you: there may be times when you cannot find help, but there is
no time when you cannot give help.

GEORGE S. MERRIAM.



April 25


_Surely, I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of
his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child_.--PS. cxxxi. 2.

  Quiet, Lord, my froward heart,
  Make me teachable and mild,
  Upright, simple, free from art,
  Make me as a weaned child;
  From distrust and envy free,
  Pleased with all that pleaseth Thee.

J. NEWTON.

Oh! look not after great things: small breathings, small desires after
the Lord, if true and pure, are sweet beginnings of life. Take heed
of despising "the day of small things," by looking after some great
visitation, proportionable to thy distress, according to thy eye. Nay, thou
must become a child; thou must lose thy own will quite by degrees. Thou
must wait for life to be measured out by the Father, and be content with
what proportion, and at what time, He shall please to measure.

I. PENINGTON.

"When Israel was a child, then I loved him" (Hosea xi. 1). Aim to be ever
this little child, contented with what the Father gives of pleasure or of
play; and when restrained from pleasure or from play, and led for a season
into the chamber of sorrow, rest quiet on His bosom, and be patient, and
smile, as one who is nestled in a sweet and secure asylum.

ANON.



April 26


_If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for
it_.--ROM. viii. 25.

_One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one
day_.--2 PETER iii. 8.

  Lord! who Thy thousand years dost wait
    To work the thousandth part
  Of Thy vast plan, for us create
    With zeal a patient heart.

J. H. NEWMAN.

I believe that if we could only see beforehand what it is that our heavenly
Father means us to be,--the _soul_ beauty and perfection and glory, the
glorious and lovely spiritual body that this soul is to dwell in through
all eternity,--if we could have a glimpse of _this_, we should not grudge
all the trouble and pains He is taking with us now, to bring us up to that
ideal, which is His thought of us. We know that it is God's way to work
slowly, so we must not be surprised if He takes a great many years of
discipline to turn a mortal being into an immortal, glorious angel.

ANNIE KEARY.



April 27


_Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor_,--ZECH. viii. 16.

_For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in
simplicity and godly sincerity... we have had our conversation in the
world_.--2 COR. i. 12.

  Appear I always what I am?
    And am I what I am pretending?
    Know I what way my course is bending?
  And sound my word and thought the same?

ANON.

Am I acting in simplicity, from a germ of the Divine life within, or am
I shaping my path to obtain some immediate result of expediency? Am I
endeavoring to compass effects, amidst a tangled web of foreign influences
I cannot calculate; or am I seeking simply to do what is right, and leaving
the consequences to the good providence of God?

M. A. SCHIMMELPENNINCK.

Let it not be in any man's power to say truly of thee that thou art not
simple, or that thou art not good; but let him be a liar whoever shall
think anything of this kind about thee; and this is altogether in thy
power. For who is he that shall hinder thee from being good and simple?

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



April 28


_The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand_.--PS.
cxxi. 5.

_Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend
them_.--PS. cxix. 165.

  I rest beneath the Almighty's shade,
    My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
  Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
    Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.

C. WESLEY.

One great sign of the practical recognition of the "divine moment," and of
our finding God's habitation in it, is constant calmness and peace of mind.
Events and things come with the moment; but God comes with them too. So
that if He comes in the sunshine, we find rest and joy; and if He comes
in the storm, we know He is King of the storms, and our hearts are not
troubled. God Himself, though possessing a heart filled with the tenderest
feelings, is, nevertheless, an everlasting tranquillity; and when we enter
into His holy tabernacle, our souls necessarily enter into the tabernacle
of rest.

T. C. UPHAM.

My soul was not only brought into harmony with itself and with God, but
with God's providences. In the exercise of faith and love, I endured
and performed whatever came in God's providence, in submission, in
thankfulness, and silence.

MADAME GUYON.



April 29


_I will arise and go to my Father_.--LUKE xv. 18.

  O my God, my Father! hear,
    And help me to believe;
  Weak and weary I draw near;
    Thy child, O God, receive.
  I so oft have gone astray;
    To the perfect Guide I flee;
  Thou wilt turn me not away,
    Thy love is pledged to me.

HYMNS OF THE SPIRIT.

O child, hast thou fallen? arise, and go, with childlike trust, to thy
Father, like the prodigal son, and humbly say, with heart and mouth,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee, and am no more
worthy to be called Thy son; make me as one of Thy hired servants." And
what will thy heavenly Father do but what that father did in the parable?
Assuredly He will not change His essence, which is love, for the sake of
thy misdoings. Is it not His own precious treasure, and a small thing with
Him to forgive thee thy trespasses, if thou believe in Him? for His hand is
not shortened that it cannot make thee fit to be saved.

JOHN TAULER.



April 30


_Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward_.--EX. xiv. 15.

_No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for
the kingdom of God_.--LUKE ix. 62.

  Be trustful, be steadfast, whatever betide thee,
    Only one thing do thou ask of the Lord,--
  Grace to go forward wherever He guide thee,
    Simply believing the truth of His word.

ANON.

The soul ceases to weary itself with planning and foreseeing, giving itself
up to God's Holy Spirit within, and to the teachings of His providence
without. He is not forever fretting as to his progress, or looking back to
see how far he is getting on; rather he goes steadily and quietly on, and
makes all the more progress because it is unconscious. So he never gets
troubled and discouraged; if he falls he humbles himself, but gets up at
once, and goes on with renewed earnestness.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



May 1


_I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my
mouth_.--PS. xxxiv. I.

_I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy
marvellous works_.--PS. ix. I.

  Thrice blest will all our blessings be,
  When we can look through them to Thee;
  When each glad heart its tribute pays
  Of love and gratitude and praise.

JANE COTTERILL.

That which befits us, embosomed in beauty and wonder as we are, is
cheerfulness, and courage, and the endeavor to realize our aspirations.
Shall not the heart which has received so much, trust the Power by which
it lives? May it not quit other leadings, and listen to the Soul that has
guided it so gently, and taught it so much, secure that the future will be
worthy of the past?

R. W. EMERSON.

I have experienced that the habit of taking out of the hand of our Lord
every little blessing and brightness on our path, confirms us, in an
especial manner, in communion with His love.

M. A. SCHIMMELPENNINCK.



May 2


_The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of
great price_.--I PETER iii. 4.

_To present you holy, and unblameable, and unreproveable in His
sight_.--COL. i. 22.

  Thy sinless mind in us reveal,
    Thy spirit's plenitude impart!
  Till all my spotless life shall tell
    The abundance of a loving heart.

C. WESLEY.

Holiness appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm
nature. It seemed to me, it brought an inexpressible purity, brightness,
peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul; and that it made the soul like a
field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers, that is all
pleasant, delightful, and undisturbed; enjoying a sweet calm, and the
gently vivifying beams of the sun. The soul of a true Christian appeared
like such a little white flower, as we see in the spring of the year, low
and humble on the ground, opening its bosom to receive the pleasant beams
of the sun's glory; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm rapture; diffusing
around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly in the midst of
other flowers round about, all in like manner opening their bosoms to drink
in the light of the sun.

JONATHAN EDWARDS.



May 3


_The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them
that trust in Him_.--NAHUM i. 7.

  Leave God to order all thy ways,
    And hope in Him, whate'er betide;
  Thou 'It find Him in the evil days
    Thy all-sufficient strength and guide;
  Who trusts in God's unchanging love,
  Builds on the rock that nought can move.

G. NEUMARK.

Our whole trouble in our lot in this world rises from the disagreement
of our mind therewith. Let the mind be brought to the lot, and the whole
tumult is instantly hushed; let it be kept in that disposition, and the man
shall stand at ease, in his affliction, like a rock unmoved with waters
beating upon it.

T. BOSTON.

How does our will become sanctified? By conforming itself unreservedly to
that of God. We will all that He wills, and will nothing that He does not
will; we attach our feeble will to that all-powerful will which performs
everything. Thus, nothing can ever come to pass against our will; for
nothing can happen save that which God wills, and we find in His good
pleasure an inexhaustible source of peace and consolation.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



May 4


_Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained
promises, stopped the mouths of lions, out of weakness were made
strong_.--HEB xi. 33, 34.

  She met the hosts of Sorrow with a look
  That altered not beneath the frown they wore,
  And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took,
  Meekly, her gentle rule, and frowned no more.
  Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
    And calmly broke in twain
    The fiery shafts of pain,
  And rent the nets of passion from her path.
  By that victorious hand despair was slain;
  With love she vanquished hate, and overcame
  Evil with good, in her great Master's name.

W. C. BRYANT.

As to what may befall us outwardly, in this confused state of things, shall
we not trust our tender Father, and rest satisfied in His will? Shall
anything hurt us? Can tribulation, distress, persecution, famine,
nakedness, peril, or sword, come between the love of the Father to the
child, or the child's rest, content, and delight in His love? And doth not
the love, the rest, the peace, the joy felt, swallow up all the bitterness
and sorrow of the outward condition?

I. PENINGTON.



May 5


_If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how
canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou
trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of
Jordan_?--JER. xii. 5.

  How couldst thou hang upon the cross,
  To whom a weary hour is loss?
  Or how the thorns and scourging brook,
  Who shrinkest from a scornful look?

J. KEBLE.

A heart unloving among kindred has no love towards God's saints and angels.
If we have a cold heart towards a servant or a friend, why should we wonder
if we have no fervor towards God? If we are cold in our private prayers, we
should be earthly and dull in the most devout religious order; if we cannot
bear the vexations of a companion, how should we bear the contradiction of
sinners? if a little pain overcomes us, how could we endure a cross? if we
have no tender, cheerful, affectionate love to those with whom our daily
hours are spent, how should we feel the pulse and ardor of love to the
unknown and the evil, the ungrateful and repulsive?

H. E. MANNING.



May 6


_Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love_.--ROM. xii. 10.

_In her tongue is the law of kindness_.--PROV. xxxi. 26.

  Since trifles make the sum of human things,
  And half our misery from our foibles springs;
  Since life's best joys consist in peace and ease,
  And though but few can serve, yet all can please;
  Oh, let the ungentle spirit learn from hence,
  A small unkindness is a great offence.

HANNAH MORE.

All usefulness and all comfort may be prevented by an unkind, a sour,
crabbed temper of mind,--a mind that can bear with no difference of opinion
or temperament. A spirit of fault-finding; an unsatisfied temper; a
constant irritability; little inequalities in the look, the temper, or the
manner; a brow cloudy and dissatisfied--your husband or your wife cannot
tell why--will more than neutralize all the good you can do, and render
life anything but a blessing.

ALBERT BARNES.

You have not fulfilled every duty, unless you have fulfilled that of being
pleasant.

CHARLES BUXTON.



May 7


_He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth
the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names_.--PS. cxlvii.
3, 4.

  Teach me your mood, O patient stars!
    Who climb each night the ancient sky,
  Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
    No trace of age, no fear to die.

R. W. EMERSON.

I looked up to the heavens once more, and the quietness of the stars seemed
to reproach me. "We are safe up here," they seemed to say; "we shine,
fearless and confident, for the God who gave the primrose its rough leaves
to hide it from the blast of uneven spring, hangs us in the awful hollows
of space. We cannot fall out of His safety. Lift up your eyes on high, and
behold! Who hath created these things--that bringeth out their host by
number? He calleth them all by names. By the greatness of His might, for
that He is strong in power, not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob! and
speakest, O Israel! my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed
over from my God?"

G. MACDONALD.



May 8


_This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in
it_.--PS. cxviii. 24.

_Why stand ye here all the day idle_?--MATT. xx. 6.

  So here hath been dawning another blue day;
  Think, wilt thou let it slip useless away?
  Out of eternity this new day is born;
  Into eternity at night will return.

T. CARLYLE.

Small cares, some deficiencies in the mere arrangement and ordering of our
lives, daily fret our hearts, and cross the clearness of our faculties; and
these entanglements hang around us, and leave us no free soul able to give
itself up, in power and gladness, to the true work of life. The
severest training and self-denial,--a superiority to the servitude of
indulgence,--are the indispensable conditions even of genial spirits, of
unclouded energies, of tempers free from morbidness,--much more of the
practised and vigorous mind, ready at every call, and thoroughly furnished
unto all good works.

J. H. THOM.

True, we can never be at peace till we have performed the highest duty of
all,--till we have arisen, and gone to our Father; but the performance
of smaller duties, yes, even of the smallest, will do more to give us
temporary repose, will act more as healthful anodynes, than the greatest
joys that can come to us from any other quarter.

G. MACDONALD.




May 9


_The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the
Lord_.--JOB i. 21.

  What Thou hast given, Thou canst take,
  And when Thou wilt new gifts can make.
    All flows from Thee alone;
  When Thou didst give it, it was Thine;
  When Thou retook'st it, 't was not mine.
    Thy will in all be done.

JOHN AUSTIN.

We are ready to praise when all shines fair; but when life is overcast,
when all things seem to be against us, when we are in fear for some
cherished happiness, or in the depths of sorrow, or in the solitude of a
life which has no visible support, or in a season of sickness, and with the
shadow of death approaching,--then to praise God; then to say, This fear,
loneliness, affliction, pain, and trembling awe are as sure tokens of love,
as life, health, joy, and the gifts of home: "The Lord gave, and the Lord
hath taken away;" on either side it is He, and all is love alike; "blessed
be the name of the Lord,"--this is the true sacrifice of praise. What can
come amiss to a soul which is so in accord with God? What can make so much
as one jarring tone in all its harmony? In all the changes of this fitful
life, it ever dwells in praise.

H. E. MANNING.



May 10


_The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that trust
in Him shall be desolate_.--PS. xxxiv. 22.

_Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him_.--JOB xiii. 15.

  I praise Thee while my days go on;
  I love Thee while my days go on:
  Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
  With emptied arms and treasure lost,
  I thank Thee while my days go on.

E. B. BROWNING.

The sickness of the last week was fine medicine; pain disintegrated the
spirit, or became spiritual. I rose,--I felt that I had given to God more
perhaps than an angel could,--had promised Him in youth that to be a blot
on this fair world, at His command, would be acceptable. Constantly offer
myself to continue the obscurest 'and loneliest thing ever heard of, with
one proviso,--His agency. Yes, love Thee, and all Thou dost, while Thou
sheddest frost and darkness on every path of mine.

MARY MOODY EMERSON.



May 11


_Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive
evil_?--JOB ii. 10.

_Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy
word_.--PS. cxix. 65.

  Whatsoe'er our lot may be,
    Calmly in this thought we'll rest,--
  Could we see as Thou dost see,
    We should choose it as the best.

WM. GASKELL.

It is a proverbial saying, that every one makes his own destiny; and this
is usually interpreted, that every one, by his wise or unwise conduct,
prepares good or evil for himself: but we may also understand it, that
whatever it be that he receives from the hand of Providence, he may so
accommodate himself to it, that he will find his lot good for him, however
much may seem to others to be wanting.

WM. VON HUMBOLDT.

Evil, once manfully fronted, ceases to be evil; there is generous
battle-hope in place of dead, passive misery; the evil itself has become a
kind of good.

T. CARLYLE.



May 12


_Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:... ye shall have
tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a
crown of life_.--REV. ii. 10.

  Then, O my soul, be ne'er afraid,
  On Him who thee and all things made
    Do thou all calmly rest;
  Whate'er may come, where'er we go,
  Our Father in the heavens must know
    In all things what is best.

PAUL FLEMMING.

Guide me, O Lord, in all the changes and varieties of the world; that in
all things that shall happen, I may have an evenness and tranquillity
of spirit; that my soul may be wholly resigned to Thy divinest will
and pleasure, never murmuring at Thy gentle chastisements and fatherly
correction. Amen.

JEREMY TAYLOR.

Thou art never at any time nearer to God than when under tribulation; which
He permits for the purification and beautifying of thy soul.

M. DE MOLINOS.

Prize inward exercises, griefs, and troubles; and let faith and patience
have their perfect work in them.

I. PENINGTON.



May 13


_I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou
shouldest keep them from the evil_.--JOHN xvii. 15.

  In busy mart and crowded street,
  No less than in the still retreat,
  Thou, Lord, art near, our souls to bless,
  With all a Father's tenderness.

I. WILLIAMS.

Only the individual conscience, and He who is greater than the conscience,
can tell where worldliness prevails. Each heart must answer for itself, and
at its own risk. That our souls are committed to our own keeping, at our
own peril, in a world so mixed as this, is the last reason we should
slumber over the charge, or betray the trust. If only that outlet to the
Infinite is kept open, the inner bond with eternal life preserved, while
not one movement of this world's business is interfered with, nor one
pulse-beat of its happiness repressed, with all natural associations dear
and cherished, with all human sympathies fresh and warm, we shall yet be
near to the kingdom of heaven, within the order of the Kosmos of God--in
the world, but not of the world--not taken out of it, but kept from its
evil.

J. H. THOM.



May 14


_And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God_?--MICAH vi. 8.

_Put on therefore... kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
long-suffering_.--COL. iii. 12.

  Plant in us an humble mind,
  Patient, pitiful, and kind;
  Meek and lowly let us be,
  Full of goodness, full of Thee.

C. WESLEY.

There is no true and constant gentleness without humility; while we are so
fond of ourselves, we are easily offended with others. Let us be persuaded
that nothing is due to us, and then nothing will disturb us. Let us often
think of our own infirmities, and we shall become indulgent towards those
of others.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

Endeavor to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of
others, of what sort soever they be; for that thyself also hast many
failings which must be borne with by others. If thou canst not make thyself
such an one as thou wouldest, how canst thou expect to have another in all
things to thy liking?

THOMAS A KEMPIS.



May 15


_My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest_.--EX. xxxiii.
14.

_Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at
Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore_.--PS. xvi. 11.

  Thy presence fills my mind with peace,
    Brightens the thoughts so dark erewhile,
  Bids cares and sad forebodings cease,
    Makes all things smile.

CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT.

How shall we rest in God? By giving ourselves wholly to Him. If you give
yourself by halves, you cannot find full rest; there will ever be a lurking
disquiet in that half which is withheld. Martyrs, confessors, and saints
have tasted this rest, and "counted themselves happy in that they endured."
A countless host of God's faithful servants have drunk deeply of it under
the daily burden of a weary life,--dull, commonplace, painful, or desolate.
All that God has been to them He is ready to be to you. The heart once
fairly given to God, with a clear conscience, a fitting rule of life, and
a steadfast purpose of obedience, you will find a wonderful sense of rest
coming over you.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



May 16


_Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His
might_.--EPH. vi. 10.

_No man can serve two masters_.--MATT. vi. 24.

  Oh, there are heavenly heights to reach
    In many a fearful place,
  Where the poor timid heir of God
    Lies blindly on his face;
  Lies languishing for grace divine
    That he shall never see
  Till he go forward at Thy sign,
    And trust himself to Thee.

A. L. WARING.

Reservations lie latent in the mind concerning some unhallowed sentiments
or habits in the present, some possibly impending temptations in the
future; and thus do we cheat ourselves of inward and outward joys together.
We give up many an indulgence for conscience' sake, but stop short at that
point of entire faithfulness wherein conscience could reward us. If we
would but give ourselves wholly to God,--give up, for the present and the
future, every act, and, above all, every thought and every feeling, to be
all purified to the uttermost, and rendered the best, noblest, holiest we
can conceive,--then would sacrifice bear with it a peace rendering itself,
I truly believe, far easier than before.

F. P. COBBE.



May 17


_Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also
ye do_.--I THESS. v. 11.

_Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself_.--MATT. xix. 19.

    So others shall
  Take patience, labor, to their heart and hand,
  From thy hand, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer,
  And God's grace fructify through thee to all.
  The least flower with a brimming cup may stand,
  And share its dewdrop with another near.

E. B. BROWNING.

What is meant by our neighbor we cannot doubt; it is every one with whom we
are brought into contact. First of all, he is literally our neighbor who
is next to us in our own family and household; husband to wife, wife to
husband, parent to child, brother to sister, master to servant, servant to
master. Then it is he who is close to us in our own neighborhood, in our
own town, in our own parish, in our own street. With these all true charity
begins. To love and be kind to these is the very beginning of all true
religion. But, besides these, as our Lord teaches, it is every one who
is thrown across our path by the changes and chances of life; he or she,
whosoever it be, whom we have any means of helping,--the unfortunate
stranger whom we may meet in travelling, the deserted friend whom no one
else cares to look after.

A. P. STANLEY.



May 18


_We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the
brethren_.--I JOHN iii. 14.

_He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love_.--I JOHN iv. 8.

  Mutual love the token be,
  Lord, that we belong to Thee;
  Love, Thine image, love impart;
  Stamp it on our face and heart;
  Only love to us be given;
  Lord, we ask no other heaven.

C WESLEY.

Oh, how many times we can most of us remember when we would gladly have
made any compromise with our consciences, would gladly have made the most
costly sacrifices to God, if He would only have excused us from this duty
of loving, of which our nature seemed utterly incapable. It is far easier
to feel kindly, to act kindly, toward those with whom we are seldom brought
into contact, whose tempers and prejudices do not rub against ours, whose
interests do not clash with ours, than to keep up an habitual, steady,
self-sacrificing love towards those whose weaknesses and faults are always
forcing themselves upon us, and are stirring up our own. A man may pass
good muster as a philanthropist who makes but a poor master to his
servants, or father to his children.

F. D. MAURICE.



May 19


_Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him_.--PS. xxxvii. 7.

_Trust in Him at all times_.--PS. lxii. 8.

  Dost thou ask when comes His hour?
    Then, when it shall aid thee best.
  Trust His faithfulness and power,
    Trust in Him, and quiet rest.

ANON.

I had found [communion with God] to consist, not only in the silencing of
the outward man, but in the silencing also of every thought, and in the
concentration of the soul and all its powers into a simple, quiet watching
and waiting for the food which its heavenly Father might see fit either
to give or to withhold. In no case could it be sent empty away; for, if
comfort, light, or joy were withheld, the act of humble waiting at the gate
of heavenly wisdom could not but work patience in it, and thus render it,
by humility and obedience, more "meet to be a partaker of the inheritance
of the saints in light," and also more blessed in itself.

M. A. KELTY.

"REST IN THE LORD; WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM." In Hebrew, "be silent to God,
and let Him mould thee." Keep still, and He will mould thee to the right
shape.

MARTIN LUTHER.



May 20


_To be spiritually minded is life and peace_.--ROM. viii. 6.

  Stilled now be every anxious care;
  See God's great goodness everywhere;
  Leave all to Him in perfect rest:
  He will do all things for the best.

FROM THE GERMAN.

We should all endeavor and labor for a calmer spirit, that we may the
better serve God in praying to Him and praising Him; and serve one another
in love, that we may be fitted to do and receive good; that we may make our
passage to heaven more easy and cheerful, without drooping and hanging the
wing. So much as we are quiet and cheerful upon good ground, so much we
live, and are, as it were, in heaven.

R. SIBBES.

Possess yourself as much as you possibly can in peace; not by any effort,
but by letting all things fall to the ground which trouble or excite you.
This is no work, but is, as it were, a setting down a fluid to settle that
has become turbid through agitation.

MADAME GUYON.



May 21


_The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall
cover him all the day long_.--DEUT. xxxiii. 12.

  Whate'er events betide,
    Thy will they all perform;
  Safe in Thy breast my head I hide,
    Nor fear the coming storm.

H. F. LYTE.

I have seemed to see a need of everything God gives me, and want nothing
that He denies me. There is no dispensation, though afflictive, but either
in it, or after it, I find that I could not be without it. Whether it
be taken from or not given me, sooner or later God quiets me in Himself
without it. I cast all my concerns on the Lord, and live securely on the
care and wisdom of my heavenly Father. My ways, you know, are, in a sense,
hedged up with thorns, and grow darker and darker daily; but yet I distrust
not my good God in the least, and live more quietly in the absence of all
by faith, than I should do, I am persuaded, if I possessed them.

JOSEPH ELIOT, 1664.



May 22


_He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under
the shadow of the Almighty_.--PS. xci. I.

  They who on the Lord rely,
  Safely dwell though danger's nigh;
  Lo! His sheltering wings are spread
  O'er each faithful servant's head.
  When they wake, or when they sleep,
  Angel guards their vigils keep;
  Death and danger may be near,
  Faith and love have nought to fear.

HARRIET AUBER.

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy
dwelling," is a promise to the fullest extent verified in the case of all
"who dwell in the secret place of the Most High." To them sorrows are not
"evils," sicknesses are not "plagues;" the shadow of the Almighty extending
far around those who abide under it, alters the character of all things
which come within its influence.

ANON.

It is faith's work to claim and challenge loving-kindness out of all the
roughest strokes of God.

S. RUTHERFORD.



MAY 23


_Be content with such things as ye have_.--HEB. xiii. 5.

_I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content_.--PHIL.
iv. 11 ( R. V.).

  No longer forward nor behind
    I look in hope or fear;
  But, grateful, take the good I find,
    The best of now and here.

J. G. WHITTIER.

If we wished to gain contentment, we might try such rules as these:--

1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even of the weather.

2. Never picture thyself to thyself under any circumstances in which thou
art not.

3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another.

4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or
were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more
wisely than thou dost thyself.

5. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God's, not thine. The
heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. "The Lord will
provide."

E. B. PUSEY.



May 24


_Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby_.--HEB. xii. I1.

      I cannot say,
  Beneath the pressure of life's cares to-day,
      I joy in these;
      But I can say
  That I had rather walk this rugged way,
      If Him it please.

S. G. BROWNING.

The particular annoyance which befell you this morning; the vexatious words
which met your ear and "grieved" your spirit; the disappointment which was
His appointment for to-day; the slight but hindering ailment; the presence
of some one who is "a grief of mind" to you,--whatever this day seemeth not
joyous, but grievous, is linked in "the good pleasure of His goodness" with
a corresponding afterward of "peaceable fruit," the very seed from which,
if you only do not choke it, this shall spring and ripen.

F. R. HAVERGAL.



May 25


_O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless
not as I will, but as Thou wilt_.--MATT. xxvi. 39.

  O Lord my God, do Thou Thy holy will,--
    I will lie still.
  I will not stir, lest I forsake Thine arm,
    And break the charm
  Which lulls me, clinging to my Father's breast,
    In perfect rest.

J. KEBLE.

Resignation to the will of God is the whole of piety; it includes in it all
that is good; and is a source of the most settled quiet and composure of
mind. Our resignation to the will of God may be said to be perfect, when
our will is lost and resolved up into His; when we rest in His will as
our end, as being itself most just, and right, and good. And where is the
impossibility of such an affection to what is just and right and good, such
a loyalty of heart to the Governor of the universe, as shall prevail over
all sinister indirect desires of our own?

JOSEPH BUTLER.

There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of
God.

F. W. FABER.

Lord, Thy will be done in father, mother, child, in everything and
everywhere; without a reserve, without a BUT, an IF, or a limit.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



May 26


_The Lord beareth your murmurings, which ye murmur against Him_.--EX. xvi.
8.

  Without murmur, uncomplaining
    In His hand,
  Leave whatever things thou canst not
    Understand.

K. R. HAGENBACH.

One great characteristic of holiness is never to be exacting--never to
complain. Each complaint drags us down a degree, in our upward course.
If you would discern in whom God's spirit dwells, watch that person, and
notice whether you ever hear him murmur.

GOLD DUST.

When we wish things to be otherwise than they are, we lose sight of the
great practical parts of the life of godliness. We wish, and wish--when, if
we have done all that lies on us, we should fall quietly into the hands of
God. Such wishing cuts the very sinews of our privileges and consolations.
You are leaving me for a time; and you say that you wish you could leave me
better, or leave me with some assistance: but, if it is right for you to
go, it is right for me to meet what lies on me, without a wish that I had
less to meet, or were better able to meet it.

R. CECIL.



May 27


_He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in
much_.--LUKE xvi, 10.

_The Lord preserveth the faithful_.--PS. xxxi. 23

  The trivial round, the common task,
  Would furnish all we ought to ask;
  Room to deny ourselves; a road
  To bring us, daily, nearer God.

J. KEBLE.

Exactness in little duties is a wonderful source of cheerfulness.

F. W. FABER.

The unremitting retention of simple and high sentiments in obscure duties
is hardening the character to that temper which will work with honor, if
need be, in the tumult or on the scaffold.

R. W. EMERSON.

We are too fond of our own will. We want to be doing what we fancy mighty
things; but the great point is, to do small things, when called to them, in
a right spirit.

R. CECIL.

It is not on great occasions only that we are required to be faithful to
the will of God; occasions constantly occur, and we should be surprised to
perceive how much our spiritual advancement depends on small obediences.

MADAME SWETCHINE.



May 28


_Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all
patience and long-suffering with joyfulness_.--COL. I. 11.

      God doth not need
  Either man's works or His own gifts; who best
  Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best; His state
  Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed,
  And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
  They also serve who only stand and wait.

J. MILTON.

We cannot always be doing a great work, but we can always be doing
something that belongs to our condition. To be silent, to suffer, to
pray when we cannot act, is acceptable to God. A disappointment, a
contradiction, a harsh word, an annoyance, a wrong received and endured as
in His presence, is worth more than a long prayer; and we do not lose time
if we bear its loss with gentleness and patience, provided the loss was
inevitable, and was not caused by our own fault.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



May 29


_Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience
inherit the promises_.--HEB. vi. 12.

  Where now with pain thou treadest, trod
  The whitest of the saints of God!
  To show thee where their feet were set,
  The light which led them shineth yet.

J. G. WHITTIER.

LET us learn from this communion of saints to live in hope. Those who are
now at rest were once like ourselves. They were once weak, faulty, sinful;
they had their burdens and hindrances, their slumbering and weariness,
their failures and their falls. But now they have overcome. Their life was
once homely and common-place. Their day ran out as ours. Morning and noon
and night came and went to them as to us. Their life, too, was as lonely
and sad as yours. Little fretful circumstances and frequent disturbing
changes wasted away their hours as yours. There is nothing in your life
that was not in theirs; there was nothing in theirs but may be also in your
own. They have overcome, each one, and one by one; each in his turn, when
the day came, and God called him to the trial. And so shall you likewise.

H. E. MANNING.



May 30


_And thus this man died, leaving his death for an example of a noble
courage, and a memorial of virtue, not only unto young men, but unto all
his nation_.--2 MAC. vi. 31.

_Zebulon and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the
death in the high places of the field_.--JUDGES v. 18.

  Though Love repine, and Reason chafe,
    There came a voice without reply,--
  'Tis man's perdition to be safe,
    When for the truth he ought to die.

R. W. EMERSON.

Some say that the age of chivalry is past. The age of chivalry is never
past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth, or a man or
woman left to say, "I will redress that wrong, or spend my life in the
attempt." The age of chivalry is never past, so long as we have faith
enough to say, "God will help me to redress that wrong; or, if not me, He
will help those that come after me, for His eternal Will is to overcome
evil with good."

C. KINGSLEY.

Thus man is made equal to every event. He can face danger for the right. A
poor, tender, painful body, he can run into flame or bullets or pestilence,
with duty for his guide.

R. W. EMERSON.



May 31


_Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: ... let them also that
love Thy name be joyful in Thee_.--PS. v. 11.

_He maketh me to lie down in green pastures_.--PS. xxiii. 2.

  I can hear these violets chorus
    To the sky's benediction above;
  And we all are together lying
    On the bosom of Infinite Love.

  Oh, the peace at the heart of Nature!
    Oh, the light that is not of day!
  Why seek it afar forever,
    When it cannot be lifted away?

W. C. GANNETT.

What inexpressible joy for me, to look up through the apple-blossoms and
the fluttering leaves, and to see God's love there; to listen to the thrush
that has built his nest among them, and to feel God's love, who cares for
the birds, in every note that swells his little throat; to look beyond
to the bright blue depths of the sky, and feel they are a canopy of
blessing,--the roof of the house of my Father; that if clouds pass over
it, it is the unchangeable light they veil; that, even when the day itself
passes, I shall see that the night itself only unveils new worlds of light;
and to know that if I could unwrap fold after fold of God's universe, I
should only unfold more and more blessing, and see deeper and deeper into
the love which is at the heart of all.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.



June 1


_One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may
dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the
beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple_.--PS. xxvii. 4.

  Thy beauty, O my Father! All is Thine;
    But there is beauty in Thyself, from whence
  The beauty Thou hast made doth ever flow
    In streams of never-failing affluence.

  Thou art the Temple! and though I am lame,--
    Lame from my birth, and shall be till I die,--
  I enter through the Gate called Beautiful,
    And am alone with Thee, O Thou Most High!

J. W. CHADWICK.

Consider that all which appears beautiful outwardly, is solely derived from
the invisible Spirit which is the source of that external beauty, and
say joyfully, "Behold, these are streamlets from the uncreated Fountain;
behold, these are drops from the infinite Ocean of all good! Oh! how does
my inmost heart rejoice at the thought of that eternal, infinite Beauty,
which is the source and origin of all created beauty!"

L. SCUPOLI.



June 2


_We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are
changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of
the Lord_.--2 COR. iii. 18.

  Then every tempting form of sin,
    Shamed in Thy presence, disappears,
  And all the glowing, raptured soul
    The likeness it contemplates wears.

P. DODDRIDGE.

Then does a good man become the tabernacle of God, wherein the divine
Shechinah does rest, and which the divine glory fills, when the frame of
his mind and life is wholly according to that idea and pattern which he
receives from the mount. We best glorify Him when we grow most like to
Him: and we then act most for His glory, when a true spirit of sanctity,
justice, and meekness, runs through all our actions; when we so live in the
world as becomes those that converse with the great Mind and Wisdom of the
whole world, with that Almighty Spirit that made, supports, and governs all
things, with that Being from whence all good flows, and in which there is
no spot, stain, or shadow of evil; and so being captivated and overcome by
the sense of the Divine loveliness and goodness, endeavor to be like Him,
and conform ourselves, as much as may be, to Him.

DR. JOHN SMITH.



June 3


_The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in Him_.--PS.
lxiv. 10.

_Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he_.--PROV. xvi. 20.

  The heart that trusts forever sings,
  And feels as light as it had wings,
  A well of peace within it springs,--
    Come good or ill,
  Whatever to-day, to-morrow brings,
    It is His will.

I. WILLIAMS.

He will weave no longer a spotted life of shreds and patches, but he will
live with a divine unity. He will cease from what is base and frivolous
in his life, and be content with all places, and with any service he can
render. He will calmly front the morrow, in the negligency of that trust
which carries God with it, and so hath already the whole future in the
bottom of the heart.

R. W. EMERSON.

He who believes in God is not careful for the morrow, but labors joyfully
and with a great heart. "For He giveth His beloved, as in sleep." They must
work and watch, yet never be careful or anxious, but commit all to Him, and
live in serene tranquillity; with a quiet heart, as one who sleeps safely
and quietly.

MARTIN LUTHER.



June 4


_Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is
not in vain in the Lord_.--I COR. xv. 58.

  Say not, 'Twas all in vain,
    The anguish and the darkness and the strife;
  Love thrown upon the waters comes again
    In quenchless yearnings for a nobler life.

ANNA SHIPTON.

Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and
singly toward an object and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly
aspires, is he not elevated? Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity,
truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them,--that it
was a vain endeavor?

H. D. THOREAU.

Do right, and God's recompense to you will be the power of doing more
right. Give, and God's reward to you will be the spirit of giving more:
a blessed spirit, for it is the Spirit of God himself, whose Life is the
blessedness of giving. Love, and God will pay you with the capacity of more
love; for love is Heaven--love is God within you.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



June 5


_Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth_.--I SAM. iii. 9.

  Though heralded with nought of fear,
    Or outward sign or show:
  Though only to the inward ear
    It whispers soft and low;
  Though dropping, as the manna fell,
    Unseen, yet from above,
  Noiseless as dew-fall, heed it well,--
    Thy Father's call of love.

J. G. WHITTIER.

This is one result of the attitude into which we are put by humility, by
disinterestedness, by purity, by calmness, that we have the opportunity,
the disengagement, the silence, in which we may watch what is the will of
God concerning us. If we think no more of ourselves than we ought to think,
if we seek not our own but others' welfare, if we are prepared to take all
things as God's dealings with us, then we may have a chance of catching
from time to time what God has to tell us. In the Mussulman devotions, one
constant gesture is to put the hands to the ears, as if to listen for the
messages from the other world. This is the attitude, the posture which our
minds assume, if we have a standing-place above and beyond the stir and
confusion and dissipation of this mortal world.

A. P. STANLEY.



June 6


_Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God_.--REV.
iii. 12.

_In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the
Spirit_.--EPH. ii. 22.

  None the place ordained refuseth,
    They are one, and they are all,
  Living stones, the Builder chooseth
    For the courses of His wall.

JEAN INGELOW.

Slowly, through all the universe, that temple of God is being built.
Wherever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire
of God's likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone.
When, in your hard fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible
temptation, you catch the purpose of your being, and give yourself to God,
and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life, a living
stone, is taken up and set into that growing wall. Wherever souls are being
tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways;--there God is
hewing out the pillars for His temple. Oh, if the stone can only have some
vision of the temple of which it is to be a part forever, what patience
must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success
for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.



June 7


_Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day_.--I THESS.
v. 5.

_Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in
heart_.--PS. xcvii. 11.

  Serene will be our days and bright,
    And happy will our nature be,
  When love is an unerring light,
    And joy its own security.

W. WORDSWORTH.

Nothing can produce so great a serenity of life, as a mind free from guilt,
and kept untainted, not only from actions, but purposes that are wicked.
By this means the soul will be not only unpolluted, but not disturbed; the
fountain will run clear and unsullied, and the streams that flow from it
will be just and honest deeds, ecstasies of satisfaction, a brisk energy of
spirit, which makes a man an enthusiast in his joy, and a tenacious memory,
sweeter than hope. For as shrubs which are cut down with the morning dew
upon them do for a long time after retain their fragrancy, so the good
actions of a wise man perfume his mind, and leave a rich scent behind them.
So that joy is, as it were, watered with these essences, and owes its
flourishing to them.

PLUTARCH.



June 8


_Who hath despised the day of small things_? ZECH. iv. 10.

    Little things
    On little wings
  Bear little souls to heaven.

ANON.

An occasional effort even of an ordinary holiness may accomplish great acts
of sacrifice, or bear severe pressure of unwonted trial, specially if it be
the subject of observation. But constant discipline in unnoticed ways, and
the spirit's silent unselfishness, becoming the hidden habit of the life,
give to it its true saintly beauty, and this is the result of care and
lowly love in little things. Perfection is attained most readily by
this constancy of religious faithfulness in all minor details of life,
consecrating the daily efforts of self-forgetting love.

T. T. CARTER.

Love's secret is to be always doing things for God, and not to mind because
they are such very little ones.

F. W. FABER.

There may be living and habitual conversation in heaven, under the aspect
of the most simple, ordinary life. Let us always remember that holiness
does not consist in doing uncommon things, but in doing everything with
purity of heart.

H. E. MANNING.



June 9


_He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his
spirit than he that taketh a city_.--PROV. xvi. 32.

  Purge from our hearts the stains so deep and foul,
    Of wrath and pride and care;
  Send Thine own holy calm upon the soul,
    And bid it settle there!

ANON.

Let this truth be present to thee in the excitement of anger,--that to be
moved by passion is not manly, but that mildness and gentleness, as they
are more agreeable to human nature, so also are they more manly. For in the
same degree in which a man's mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in
the same degree also is it nearer to strength.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.

It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle, for this is
naturally pleasing to all, and every one willingly enjoyeth peace, and
loveth those best that agree with him. But to be able to live peaceably
with hard and perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go
contrary to us, is a great grace, and a most commendable and manly thing.

THOMAS A KEMPIS.



June 10


_Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His
servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the
name of the Lord, and stay upon his God_.--ISA. I. 10.

_The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness_.--PS. xviii. 28.

  When we in darkness walk,
    Nor feel the heavenly flame,
  Then is the time to trust our God,
    And rest upon His name.

A. M. TOPLADY.

He has an especial tenderness of love towards thee for that thou art in the
dark and hast no light, and His heart is glad when thou dost arise and say,
"I will go to my Father." For He sees thee through all the gloom through
which thou canst not see Him. Say to Him, "My God, I am very dull and low
and hard; but Thou art wise and high and tender, and Thou art my God. I am
Thy child. Forsake me not." Then fold the arms of thy faith, and wait in
quietness until light goes up in the darkness. Fold the arms of thy Faith,
I say, but not of thy Action: bethink thee of something that thou oughtest
to do, and go and do it, if it be but the sweeping of a room, or the
preparing of a meal, or a visit to a friend; heed not thy feelings: do thy
work.

G. MACDONALD.



June 11


_In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with
strength in my soul_.--PS. cxxxviii. 3.

  It is not that I feel less weak, but Thou
  Wilt be my strength; it is not that I see
  Less sin; but more of pardoning love with Thee,
    And all-sufficient grace. Enough! And now
  All fluttering thought is stilled; I only rest,
  And feel that Thou art near, and know that I am blest.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

Yea, though thou canst not believe, yet be not dismayed thereat; only do
thou sink into, or at least pant after the hidden measure of life, which is
not in that which distresseth, disturbeth, and filleth thee with thoughts,
fears, troubles, anguish, darknesses, terrors, and the like; no, no! but in
that which inclines to the patience, to the stillness, to the hope, to the
waiting, to the silence before the Father.

I. PENINGTON.

We have only to be patient, to pray, and to do His will, according to our
present light and strength, and the growth of the soul will go on. The
plant grows in the mist and under clouds as truly as under sunshine. So
does the heavenly principle within.

W. E. CHANNING.



June 12


_Then answered he me, and said, This is the condition of the battle which
man that is born upon the earth shall fight; that, if he be overcome, he
shall suffer as thou hast said: but if he get the victory, he shall receive
the thing that I say_.--2 ESDRAS vii. 57, 58.

  One holy Church, one army strong,
    One steadfast high intent,
  One working band, one harvest-song,
    One King omnipotent.

S. JOHNSON.

We listened to a man whom we felt to be, with all his heart and soul and
strength, striving against whatever was mean and unmanly and unrighteous in
our little world. It was not the cold clear voice of one giving advice and
warning from serene heights to those who were struggling and sinning below,
but the warm living voice of one who was fighting for us and by our sides,
and calling on us to help him and ourselves and one another. And so,
wearily and little by little, but surely and steadily on the whole, was
brought home to the young boy, for the first time, the meaning of his life;
that it was no fool's or sluggard's paradise into which he had wandered
by chance, but a battle-field ordained from of old, where there are no
spectators, but the youngest must take his side, and the stakes are life
and death.

THOMAS HUGHES.



June 13


_If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with
another_.--I JOHN i. 7.

_God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye
have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and
do minister_.--HEB. vi. 10.

  Wherever in the world I am,
    In whatsoe'er estate,
  I have a fellowship with hearts,
    To keep and cultivate,
  And a work of lowly love to do
    For the Lord on whom I wait.

A. L. WARING.

We do not always perceive that even the writing of a note of
congratulation, the fabrication of something intended as an offering
of affection, our necessary intercourse with characters which have no
congeniality with our own, or hours apparently trifled away in the domestic
circle, may be made by us the performance of a most sacred and blessed
work; even the carrying out, after our feeble measure, of the design of God
for-the increase of happiness.

SARAH W. STEPHEN.

Definite work is not always that which is cut and squared for us, but that
which comes as a claim upon the conscience, whether it's nursing in a
hospital, or hemming a handkerchief.

ELIZABETH M. SEWELL.



June 14


_The Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from
the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve_.--ISA. xiv. 3.

  To-day, beneath Thy chastening eye,
  I crave alone for peace and rest;
  Submissive in Thy hand to lie,
    And feel that it is best.

J. G. WHITTIER.

O Lord, who art as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary land, who
beholdest Thy weak creatures weary of labor, weary of pleasure, weary of
hope deferred, weary of self; in Thine abundant compassion, and unutterable
tenderness, bring us, I pray Thee, unto Thy rest. Amen.

CHRISTINA G. ROSSETTI.

Grant to me above all things that can be desired, to rest in Thee, and in
Thee to have my heart at peace. Thou art the true peace of the heart, Thou
its only rest; out of Thee all things are hard and restless. In this very
peace, that is, in Thee, the One Chiefest Eternal Good, I will sleep and
rest. Amen.

THOMAS A KEMPIS.

Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless until it
rests in Thee.

ST. AUGUSTINE.



June 15


_God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore
will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be
carried into the midst of the sea_.--PS. xlvi. 1,2.

  Though waves and storms go o'er my head,
    Though strength and health and friends be gone,
  Though joys be withered all, and dead,
    Though every comfort be withdrawn,
  On this my steadfast soul relies,--
    Father! Thy mercy never dies.

JOHANN A. ROTHE.

Your external circumstances may change, toil may take the place of rest,
sickness of health, trials may thicken within and without. Externally, you
are the prey of such circumstances; but if your heart is stayed on God, no
changes or chances can touch it, and all that may befall you will but draw
you closer to Him. Whatever the present moment may bring, your knowledge
that it is His will, and that your future heavenly life will be influenced
by it, will make all not only tolerable, but welcome to you, while no
vicissitudes can affect you greatly, knowing that He who holds you in His
powerful hand cannot change, but abideth forever.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



June 16


_Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask
or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory
in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
Amen_.--EPH. iii. 20, 21.

  We would not meagre gifts down-call
  When Thou dost yearn to yield us all;
  But for this life, this little hour,
  Ask all Thy love and care and power.

J. INGELOW.

God so loveth us that He would make all things channels to us and
messengers of His love. Do for His sake deeds of love, and He will give
thee His love. Still thyself, thy own cares, thy own thoughts for Him, and
He will speak to thy heart. Ask for Himself, and He will give thee Himself.
Truly, a secret hidden thing is the love of God, known only to them who
seek it, and to them also secret, for what man can have of it here is how
slight a foretaste of that endless ocean of His love!

E. B. PUSEY.



June 17


_Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow_.--MATT. vi. 28.

    They do not toil:
  Content with their allotted task
  They do but grow; they do not ask
  A richer lot, a higher sphere,
  But in their loveliness appear,
  And grow, and smile, and do their best,
  And unto God they leave the rest.

MARIANNE FARNINGHAM.

Interpose no barrier to His mighty life-giving power, working in you all
the good pleasure of His will. Yield yourself up utterly to His sweet
control. Put your growing into His hands as completely as you have put all
your other affairs. Suffer Him to manage it as He will. Do not concern
yourself about it, nor even think of it. Trust Him absolutely and always.
Accept each moment's dispensation as it comes to you from His dear hands,
as being the needed sunshine or dew for that moment's growth. Say a
continual "yes" to your Father's will.

H. W. SMITH.

Thine own self-will and anxiety, thy hurry and labor, disturb thy peace,
and prevent Me from working in thee. Look at the little flowers, in the
serene summer days; they quietly open their petals, and the sun shines into
them with his gentle influences. So will I do for thee, if thou wilt yield
thyself to Me.

G. TERSTEEGEN,



June 18


_Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and
to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of
little faith_?--MATT. vi. 30.

_I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever_--PS. lii. 8.

  Calmly we look behind us, on joys and sorrows past,
  We know that all is mercy now, and shall be well at last;
  Calmly we look before us,--we fear no future ill,
  Enough for safety and for peace, if Thou art with us still.

JANE BORTHWICK.

Neither go back in fear and misgiving to the past, nor in anxiety and
forecasting to the future; but lie quiet under His hand, having no will but
His.

H. E. MANNING.

I saw a delicate flower had grown up two feet high, between the horses'
path and the wheel-track. An inch more to right or left had sealed its
fate, or an inch higher; and yet it lived to flourish as much as if it had
a thousand acres of untrodden space around it, and never knew the danger
it incurred. It did not borrow trouble, nor invite an evil fate by
apprehending it.

HENRY D. THOREAU.



June 19


_The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy
soul_.--PS. cxxi. 7.

  Under Thy wings, my God, I rest,
    Under Thy shadow safely lie;
  By Thy own strength in peace possessed,
    While dreaded evils pass me by.

A. L. WARING.

A heart rejoicing in God delights in all His will, and is surely provided
with the most firm joy in all estates; for if nothing can come to pass
beside or against His will, then cannot that soul be vexed which delights
in Him and hath no will but His, but follows Him in all times, in all
estates; not only when He shines bright on them, but when they are clouded.
That flower which follows the sun doth so even in dark and cloudy days:
when it doth not shine forth, yet it follows the hidden course and motion
of it. So the soul that moves after God keeps that course when He hides His
face; is content, yea, even glad at His will in all estates or conditions
or events.

R. LEIGHTON.

Let God do with me what He will, anything He will; whatever it be, it will
be either heaven itself or some beginning of it.

WM. MOUNTFORD.



June 20


_Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in
Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these
calamities be overpast_.--PS. lvii. I.

  My God! in whom are all the springs
    Of boundless love and grace unknown,
  Hide me beneath Thy spreading wings,
    Till the dark cloud is overblown.

I. WATTS.

In time of trouble go not out of yourself to seek for aid; for the whole
benefit of trial consists in silence, patience, rest, and resignation. In
this condition divine strength is found for the hard warfare, because God
Himself fights for the soul.

M. DE MOLINOS.

In vain will you let your mind run out after help in times of trouble;
it is like putting to sea in a storm. Sit still, and feel after your
principles; and, if you find none that furnish you with somewhat of a stay
and prop, and which point you to quietness and silent submission, depend
upon it you have never yet learned Truth from the Spirit of Truth, whatever
notions thereof you may have picked up from this and the other description
of it.

M. A. KELTY.



June 21


_Thou calledst in trouble, and. I delivered thee_.--PS. lxxxi. 7.

_Be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed_.--I CHRON.
xxii. 13.

  Thou canst calm the troubled mind,
    Thou its dread canst still;
  Teach me to be all resigned
    To my Father's will.

HEINRICH PUCHTA.

Though this patient, meek resignation is to be exercised with regard to all
outward things and occurrences of life, yet it chiefly respects our own
inward state, the troubles, perplexities, weaknesses, and disorders of our
own souls. And to stand turned to a patient, meek, humble resignation to
God, when your own impatience, wrath, pride, and irresignation attack
yourself, is a higher and more beneficial performance of this duty, than
when you stand turned to meekness and patience, when attacked by the pride,
or wrath, or disorderly passions of other people.

WM. LAW.



June 22


_There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able
to bear it_.--I COR. x. 13, 14.

  Not so, not so, no load of woe
    Need bring despairing frown;
  For while we bear it, we can bear,
    Past that, we lay it down.

SARAH WILLIAMS.

Everything which happens, either happens in such wise that them art formed
by nature to bear it, or that thou art not formed by nature to bear it. If
then, it happens to thee in such way that thou art formed by nature to bear
it, do not complain, but bear it as thou art formed by nature to bear it.
But, if it happens in such wise that thou art not able to bear it, do not
complain; for it will perish after it has consumed thee. Remember, however,
that thou art formed by nature to bear everything, with respect to which it
depends on thy own opinion to make it endurable and tolerable, by thinking
that it is either thy interest or thy duty to do this.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



June 23


_Why art than cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within
me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my
countenance, and my God_.--PS. xlii. 11.

  Ah! why by passing clouds oppressed,
  Should vexing thoughts distract thy breast?
  Turn thou to Him in every pain,
  Whom never suppliant sought in vain;
  Thy strength in joy's ecstatic day,
  Thy hope, when joy has passed away.

H. F. LYTE.

Beware of letting your care degenerate into anxiety and unrest; tossed as
you are amid the winds and waves of sundry troubles, keep your eyes fixed
on the Lord, and say, "Oh, my God, I look to Thee alone; be Thou my guide,
my pilot;" and then be comforted. When the shore is gained, who will heed
the toil and the storm? And we shall steer safely through every storm, so
long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast,
and our trust fixed on God. If at times we are somewhat stunned by the
tempest, never fear; let us take breath, and go on afresh. Do not be
disconcerted by the fits of vexation and uneasiness which are sometimes
produced by the multiplicity of your domestic worries. No indeed, dearest
child, all these are but opportunities of strengthening yourself in the
loving, forbearing graces which our dear Lord sets before us.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



June 24


_Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight_.--MATT. xi. 26.

  Let nothing make thee sad or fretful,
    Or too regretful;
      Be still;
  What God hath ordered must be right,
  Then find in it thine own delight,
      My will.

P. FLEMMING.

If we listen to our self-love, we shall estimate our lot less by what it
is, than by what it is not; shall dwell on its hindrances, and be blind
to its possibilities; and, comparing it only with imaginary lives, shall
indulge in flattering dreams of what we should do, if we had but power; and
give, if we had but wealth; and be, if we had no temptations. We shall be
forever querulously pleading our difficulties and privations as excuses for
our unloving temper and unfruitful life; and fancying ourselves injured
beings, virtually frowning at the dear Providence that loves us, and
chafing with a self-torture which invites no pity. If we yield ourselves
unto God, and sincerely accept our lot as assigned by Him, we shall count
up its contents, and disregard its omissions; and be it as feeble as a
cripple's, and as narrow as a child's, shall find in it resources of good
surpassing our best economy, and sacred claims that may keep awake our
highest will.

J. MARTINEAU.



June 25


_My times are in Thy hand_.--PS. xxxi. 15.

_Every purpose of the Lord shall be performed_.--JER. li. 29.

  I am so glad! It is such rest to know
  That Thou hast ordered and appointed all,
  And wilt yet order and appoint my lot.
  For though so much I cannot understand,
  And would not choose, has been, and yet may be,
  Thou choosest, Thou performest, THOU, my Lord.
  This is enough for me.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

"We mustn't be in a hurry to fix and choose our own lot; we must wait to be
guided. We are led on, like the little children, by a way that we know not.
It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, for the
sake of finding a greater blessing to our own souls; as if we could choose
for ourselves where we shall find the fulness of the Divine Presence,
instead of seeking it where alone it is to be found, in loving obedience."

GEORGE ELIOT.

Everywhere and at all times it is in thy power piously to acquiesce in thy
present condition, and to behave justly to those who are about thee.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



June 26


_And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that
your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if
ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your
trespasses_.--MARK xi. 25, 26.

  'Tis not enough to weep my sins,
    'Tis but one step to heaven:--
   When I am kind to others,--then
     I know myself forgiven.

F. W. FABER.

Every relation to mankind, of hate or scorn or neglect, is full of
vexation and torment. There is nothing to do with men but to love them;
to contemplate their virtues with admiration, their faults with pity and
forbearance, and their injuries with forgiveness. Task all the ingenuity of
your mind to devise some other thing, but you never can find it. To hate
your adversary will not help you; to kill him will not help you; nothing
within the compass of the universe can help you, but to love him. But let
that love flow out upon all around you, and what could harm you? How many a
knot of mystery and misunderstanding would be untied by one word spoken in
simple and confiding truth of heart! How many a solitary place would be
made glad if love were there; and how many a dark dwelling would be filled
with light!

ORVILLE DEWEY.



June 27


_The kingdom of God is within you_.--LUKE xvii. 21.

  Oh, take this heart that I would give
    Forever to be all Thine own;
  I to myself no more would live,--
    Come, Lord, be Thou my King alone.

G. TERSTEEGEN.

Herein is the work assigned to the individual soul, to have life in itself,
to make our sphere, whatever it is, sufficient for a reign of God
within ourselves, for a true and full reign of our Father's abounding
spirit,--thankful, unutterably thankful, if with the place and the
companionship assigned to us we are permitted to build an earthly
tabernacle of grace and goodness and holy love, a home like a temple; but,
should this be denied us, resolved for our own souls that God shall reign
there, for ourselves at least that we will not, by sin or disobedience or
impious distrust, break with our own wills, our filial connection with our
Father,--that whether joyful or sorrowing, struggling with the perplexity
and foulness of circumstance, or in an atmosphere of peace, whether in dear
fellowship or alone, our desire and prayer shall be that God may have in us
a realm where His will is law, and where obedience and submission spring,
not from calculating prudence or ungodly fear, but from communion of
spirit, ever humble aspiration, and ever loving trust.

J. H. THOM.



June 28


_The Lord preserveth the simple_.--PS. cxvi. 6.

  Thy home is with the humble, Lord!
    The simple are Thy rest;
  Thy lodging is in childlike hearts;
    Thou makest there Thy nest.

F. W. FABER.

This deliverance of the soul from all useless and selfish and unquiet
cares, brings to it an unspeakable peace and freedom; this is true
simplicity. This state of entire resignation and perpetual acquiescence
produces true liberty; and this liberty brings perfect simplicity. The soul
which knows no self-seeking, no interested ends, is thoroughly candid; it
goes straight forward without hindrance; its path opens daily more and
more to "perfect day," in proportion as its self-renunciation and its
self-forgetfulness increase; and its peace, amid whatever troubles beset
it, will be as boundless as the depths of the sea.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



June 29


_Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth
it off_.--I KINGS xx. 11.

_Put on the whole armor of God_.--EPH. vi. 11.

  Was I not girded for the battle-field?
  Bore I not helm of pride and glittering sword?
  Behold the fragments of my broken shield,
  And lend to me Thy heavenly armor, Lord!

ANON.

Oh, be at least able to say in that day,--Lord, I am no hero. I have been
careless, cowardly, sometimes all but mutinous. Punishment I have deserved,
I deny it not. But a traitor I have never been; a deserter I have never
been. I have tried to fight on Thy side in Thy battle against evil. I have
tried to do the duty which lay nearest me; and to leave whatever Thou didst
commit to my charge a little better than I found it. I have not been good,
but I have at least tried to be good. Take the will for the deed, good
Lord. Strike not my unworthy name off the roll-call of the noble and
victorious army, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and
let me, too, be found written in the Book of Life; even though I stand the
lowest and last upon its list. Amen.

C. KINGSLEY.



June 30


_And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of
righteousness, quietness and assurance forever_.--ISA. xxxii. 17.

  The heart that ministers for Thee
    In Thy own work will rest;
  And the subject spirit of a child
    Can serve Thy children best.

A. L. WARING.

It matters not where or what we are, so we be His servants. They are
happy who have a wide field and great strength to fulfil His missions of
compassion; and they, too, are blessed who, in sheltered homes and narrow
ways of duty, wait upon Him in lowly services of love. Wise or simple,
gifted or slender in knowledge, in the world's gaze or in hidden paths,
high or low, encompassed by affections and joys of home, or lonely and
content in God alone, what matters, so that they bear the seal of the
living God? Blessed company, unknown to each other, unknowing even
themselves!

H. E. MANNING.



July 1


_In the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord_.--EX. xvi. 7.

_Serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope_.--ROM. xii. 11, 12.

  Every day is a fresh beginning,
    Every morn is the world made new.
  You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
  Here is a beautiful hope for you;
    A hope for me and a hope for you.

SUSAN COOLIDGE.

Be patient with every one, but above all with yourself. I mean, do not be
disturbed because of your imperfections, and always rise up bravely from
a fall. I am glad that you make a daily new beginning; there is no better
means of progress in the spiritual life than to be continually beginning
afresh, and never to think that we have done enough.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

Because perseverance is so difficult, even when supported by the grace of
God, thence is the value of new beginnings. For new beginnings are the life
of perseverance.

E. B. PUSEY.



July 2


_Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence
toward God, and toward men_.--ACTS xxiv. 16.

_I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will
guide thee with mine eye_.--PS. xxxii. 8.

  Oh, keep thy conscience sensitive;
    No inward token miss;
  And go where grace entices thee;--
  Perfection lies in this.

F. W. FABER.

We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening
we shall hear the right word.

R. W. EMERSON.

The heights of Christian perfection can only be reached by faithfully each
moment following the Guide who is to lead you there, and He reveals your
way to you one step at a time, in the little things of your daily lives,
asking only on your part that you yield yourselves up to His guidance. If
then, in anything you feel doubtful or troubled, be sure that it is the
voice of your Lord, and surrender it at once to His bidding, rejoicing with
a great joy that He has begun thus to lead and guide you.

H. W. SMITH.



July 3


_He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities_.--PS. cxxx. 8.

  Be it according to Thy word;
    Redeem me from all sin;
  My heart would now receive Thee, Lord,
    Come in, my Lord, come in!

C. WESLEY.

When you wake, or as soon as you are dressed, offer up your whole self to
God, soul and body, thoughts and purposes and desires, to be for that day
what He wills. Think of the occasions of the sin likely to befall you,
and go, as a child, to your Father which is in heaven, and tell Him
in childlike, simple words, your trials--in some such simple words as
these--"Thou knowest, good Lord, that I am tempted to--[_then name the
temptations to it, and the ways in which you sin, as well as you know
them_]. But, good Lord, for love of Thee, I would this day keep wholly from
all [_naming the sin_] and be very [naming the opposite grace]. I will not,
by Thy grace, do one [N.] act, or speak one [N.] word, or give one [N.]
look, or harbor one [N.] thought in my soul. If Thou allow any of these
temptations to come upon me this day, I desire to think, speak, and do only
what Thou willest. Lord, without Thee I can do nothing; with Thee I can do
all."

E. B. PUSEY.



July 4


_Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord,
and was confounded? or did any abide in His fear, and was forsaken? or whom
did He ever despise, that called upon Him_?--ECCLESIASTICUS ii. 10.

_Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies, and Thy loving-kindnesses; for they
have been ever of old_.--PS. xxv. 6.

    My Father! see
  I trust the faithfulness displayed of old,
  I trust the love that never can grow cold--
    I trust in Thee.

CHRISTIAN INTELLIGENCER.

Be not so much discouraged in the sight of what is yet to be done, as
comforted in His good-will towards thee. 'Tis true, He hath chastened
thee with rods and sore afflictions; but did He ever take away His
loving-kindness from thee? or did His faithfulness ever fail in the sorest,
blackest, thickest, darkest night that ever befell thee?

I. PENINGTON.

WE call Him the "_God of our fathers_;" and we feel that there is some
stability at centre, while we can tell our cares to One listening at our
right hand, by whom theirs are remembered and removed.

J. MARTINEAU.



July 5


_He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind_.--ISA. xxvii. 8.

_A bruised reed shall He not break_.--ISA. xlii. 3.

  All my life I still have found,
    And I will forget it never;
  Every sorrow hath its bound,
    And no cross endures forever.
  All things else have but their day,
  God's love only lasts for aye.

P. GERHARDT.

We never have more than we can bear. The present hour we are always able to
endure. As our day, so is our strength. If the trials of many years were
gathered into one, they would overwhelm us; therefore, in pity to our
little strength, He sends first one, then another, then removes both,
and lays on a third, heavier, perhaps, than either; but all is so wisely
measured to our strength that the bruised reed is never broken. We do not
enough look at our trials in this continuous and successive view. Each one
is sent to teach us something, and altogether they have a lesson which is
beyond the power of any to teach alone.

H. E. MANNING.



July 6


_I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand,
and will keep thee_.--ISA. xlii. 6.

_O keep my soul, and deliver me: for I put my trust in Thee_.--PS. xxv. 20.

  I do not ask my cross to understand,
    My way to see;
  Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand,
    And follow Thee.

ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.

O Lord, if only my will may remain right and firm towards Thee, do with
me whatsoever it shall please Thee. For it cannot be anything but good,
whatsoever Thou shalt do with me. If it be Thy will I should be in
darkness, be Thou blessed; and, if it be Thy will I should be in light, be
Thou again blessed. If Thou vouchsafe to comfort me, be Thou blessed; and,
if Thou wilt have me afflicted, be Thou equally blessed. O Lord! for
Thy sake I will cheerfully suffer whatever shall come on me with Thy
permission.

THOMAS A KEMPIS.

My soul could not incline itself on the one side or the other, since
another will had taken the place of its own; but only nourished itself with
the daily providences of God.

MADAME GUYON.



July 7


_The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the
strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid_?--PS. xxvii. I.

  Thou hidden Source of calm repose,
    Thou all-sufficient Love divine,
  My Help and Refuge from my foes,
    Secure I am while Thou art mine:
  And lo! from sin, and grief, and shame,
  I hide me, Father, in Thy name.

C. WESLEY.

Whatever troubles come on you, of mind, body, or estate, from within or
from without, from chance or from intent, from friends or foes--whatever
your trouble be, though you be lonely, O children of a heavenly Father, be
not afraid!

J. H. NEWMAN.

Whatsoever befalleth thee, receive it not from the hand of any creature,
but from Him alone, and render back all to Him, seeking in all things His
pleasure and honor, the purifying and subduing of thyself. What can harm
thee, when all must first touch God, within whom thou hast enclosed
thyself?

R. LEIGHTON.

How God rejoices over a soul, which, surrounded on all sides by suffering
and misery, does that upon earth which the angels do in heaven; namely,
loves, adores, and praises God!

G. TERSTEEGEN.



July 8


_Be ye kind one to another_.--EPH. iv. 32.

  She doeth little kindnesses
    Which most leave undone or despise;
  For nought which sets one heart at ease,
  And giveth happiness or peace,
    Is low-esteemed in her eyes.

J. R. LOWELL.

What was the secret of such a one's power? What had she done? Absolutely
nothing; but radiant smiles, beaming good-humor, the tact of divining what
every one felt and every one wanted, told that she had got out of self
and learned to think of others; so that at one time it showed itself in
deprecating the quarrel, which lowering brows and raised tones already
showed to be impending, by sweet words; at another, by smoothing an
invalid's pillow; at another, by soothing a sobbing child; at another, by
humoring and softening a father who had returned weary and ill-tempered
from the irritating cares of business. None but she saw those things. None
but a loving heart _could_ see them. That was the secret of her heavenly
power. The one who will be found in trial capable of great acts of love, is
ever the one who is always doing considerate small ones.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



July 9


_Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth
God_.--I JOHN iv. 7.

_Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a
quarrel (or "complaint") against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also
do ye_.--COL. iii. 13.

  Oh, might we all our lineage prove,
  Give and forgive, do good and love;
  By soft endearments, in kind strife,
  Lightening the load of daily life.

J. KEBLE.

We may, if we choose, make the worst of one another. Every one has his weak
points; every one has his faults: we may make the worst of these; we may
fix our attention constantly upon these. But we may also make the best of
one another. We may forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven. We may put
ourselves in the place of others, and ask what we should wish to be done
to us, and thought of us, were we in their place. By loving whatever is
lovable in those around us, love will flow back from them to us, and life
will become a pleasure instead of a pain; and earth will become like
heaven; and we shall become not unworthy followers of Him whose name is
Love.

A. P. STANLEY.



July 10


_The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord,
endureth forever: forsake not the--works of Thine own hands_.--PS.
cxxxviii. 8.

  As God leads me, will I go,--
    Nor choose my way;
  Let Him choose the joy or woe
    Of every day:
  They cannot hurt my soul,
  Because in His control:
  I leave to Him the whole,--
    His children may.

L. GEDICKE.

Why is it that we are so busy with the future? It is not _our_ province;
and is there not a criminal interference with Him to whom it belongs, in
our feverish, anxious attempts to dispose of it, and in filling it up with
shadows of good and evil shaped by our own wild imaginations? To do God's
will as fast as it is made known to us, to inquire hourly--I had almost
said each moment--what He requires of us, and to leave ourselves, our
friends, and every interest at His control, with a cheerful trust that the
path which He marks out leads to our perfection and to Himself,--this is at
once our duty and happiness; and why will we not walk in the plain, simple
way?

WILLIAM E. CHANNING.



July 11


_When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble_?--JOB xxxiv. 29.

_None of these things move me_.--ACTS xx. 24.

  I've many a cross to take up now,
    And many left behind;
  But present troubles move me not,
    Nor shake my quiet mind.
  And what may be to-morrow's cross
    I never seek to find;
  My Father says, "Leave that to me,
    And keep a quiet mind."

ANON.

Let us then think only of the present, and not even permit our minds to
wander with curiosity into the future. This future is not yet ours; perhaps
it never will be. It is exposing ourselves to temptation to wish to
anticipate God, and to prepare ourselves for things which He may not
destine for us. If such things should come to pass, He will give us
light and strength according to the need. Why should we desire to meet
difficulties prematurely, when we have neither strength nor light as yet
provided for them? Let us give heed to the present, whose duties are
pressing; it is fidelity to the present which prepares us for fidelity in
the future.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

Every hour comes with some little fagot of God's will fastened upon its
back.

F. W. FABER.



July 12


_Be strong, and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid ... for the
Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor
forsake thee_.--DEUT. xxxi. 6.

  The timid it concerns to ask their way,
  And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray,
  To make no step until the event is known,
  And ills to come as evils past bemoan.
  Not so the wise; no coward watch he keeps
  To spy what danger on his pathway creeps;
  Go where he will, the wise man is at home,
  His hearth the earth,--his hall the azure dome;
  Where his clear spirit leads him, there's his road,
  By God's own light illumined and foreshowed.

R. W. EMERSON.

Though I sympathize, I do not share in the least the feeling of being
disheartened and cast down. It is not things of this sort that depress me,
or ever will. The contrary things, praise, openings, the feeling of the
greatness of my work, and my inability in relation to it, these things
oppress and cast me down; but little hindrances, and closing up of
accustomed or expected avenues, and the presence of difficulties to be
overcome,--I'm not going to be cast down by trifles such as these.

JAMES HINTON.



July 13


_And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in
drought_.--ISA. lviii. 11.

  Wherever He may guide me,
    No want shall turn me back;
  My Shepherd is beside me,
    And nothing can I lack.
  His wisdom ever waketh,
    His sight is never dim,--
  He knows the way He taketh,
    And I will walk with Him.

A. L. WARING.

Abandon yourself to His care and guidance, as a sheep in the care of a
shepherd, and trust Him utterly. No matter though you may seem to yourself
to be in the very midst of a desert, with nothing green about you, inwardly
or outwardly, and may think you will have to make a long journey before you
can get into the green pastures. Our Shepherd will turn that very place
where you are into green pastures, for He has power to make the desert
rejoice and blossom as a rose.

H. W. SMITH.



July 14


_Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
your mind_.--ROM. xii. 2.

  Father, let our faithful mind
  Rest, on Thee alone inclined;
  Every anxious thought repress,
  Keep our souls in perfect peace.

C. WESLEY.

Retirement from anxieties of every kind; entering into no disputes;
avoiding all frivolous talk; and simplifying everything we engage in,
whether in a way of doing or suffering; denying the, imagination its false
activities, and the intellect its false searchings after what it cannot
obtain,--these seem to be some of the steps that lead to obedience to the
holy precept in our text.

JAMES P. GREAVES.

Retire inwardly; wait to feel somewhat of God's Spirit, discovering and
drawing away from that which is contrary to His holy nature, and leading
into that which is acceptable to Him. As the mind is joined to this, some
true light and life is received.

I. PENINGTON.

Act up faithfully to your convictions; and when you have been unfaithful,
bear with yourself, and resume always with calm simplicity your little
task. Suppress, as much as you possibly can, all recurrence to yourself,
and you will suppress much vanity. Accustom yourself to much calmness and
an indifference to events.

MADAME GUYON.



July 15


_Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in_.--PS. xxiv. 9.

_Ye are the temple of the living God_.--2 COR. vi. 16.

  Fling wide the portals of your heart,
  Make it a temple set apart
  From earthly use for Heaven's employ,
  Adorned with prayer, and love, and joy.
  So shall your Sovereign enter in,
  And new and nobler life begin.

G. WEISSEL.

Thou art to know that thy soul is the centre, habitation, and kingdom of
God. That, therefore, to the end the sovereign King may rest on that throne
of thy soul, thou oughtest to take pains to keep it clean, quiet, and
peaceable,--clean from guilt and defects; quiet from fears; and peaceable
in temptations and tribulations. Thou oughtest always, then, to keep thine
heart in peace, that thou mayest keep pure that temple of God; and with a
right and pure intention thou art to work, pray, obey, and suffer (without
being in the least moved), whatever it pleases the Lord to send unto thee.

M. DE MOLINOS



July 16


_Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear
Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee_.--PS. xxxi. 19.

_I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with
me_.--PS. xiii. 6.

  Thy calmness bends serene above
    My restlessness to still;
  Around me flows Thy quickening life,
    To nerve my faltering will;
  Thy presence fills my solitude;
  Thy providence turns all to good.

S. LONGFELLOW.

With a heart devoted to God and full of God, no longer seek Him in the
heavens above or the earth beneath, or in the things under the earth, but
recognize Him as the great fact of the universe, separate from no place or
part, but revealed in all places and in all things and events, _moment by
moment_. And as eternity alone will exhaust this momentary revelation,
which has sometimes been called the ETERNAL Now, thou shalt thus find God
ever present and ever new; and thy soul shall adore Him and feed upon Him
in the things and events which each new moment brings; and thou shalt never
be absent from Him, and He shall never be absent from thee.

T. C. UPHAM.



July 17


_For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us_.--ROM. viii. 18.

_The power of an endless life_.--HEB. vii. 16.

  Believ'st thou in eternal things?
    Thou knowest, in thy inmost heart,
  Thou art not clay; thy soul hath wings,
    And what thou seest is but part.
  Make this thy med'cine for the smart
    Of every day's distress; be dumb,
  In each new loss thou truly art
    Tasting the power of things that come.

T. W. Parsons.

Every contradiction of our will, every little ailment, every petty
disappointment, will, if we take it patiently, become a blessing. So,
walking on earth, we may be in heaven; the ill-tempers of others, the
slights and rudenesses of the world, ill-health, the daily accidents
with which God has mercifully strewed our paths, instead of ruffling or
disturbing our peace, may cause His peace to be shed abroad in our hearts
abundantly.

E. B. PUSEY.



July 18


_A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have
loved you, that ye also love one another_.--JOHN xiii. 34.

_And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love, one toward another,
and toward all men_.--I THESS. iii. 12.

  Let love through all my conduct shine,
  An image fair, though faint, of Thine;
  Thus let me His disciple prove,
  Who came to manifest Thy love.

Simon Browne.

We should arrive at a fulness of love extending to the whole creation, a
desire to impart, to pour out in full and copious streams the love and
goodness we bear to all around us.

J. P. GREAVES.

Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy
and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face. When this
form of love is seen, it appears ineffably beautiful, and affects with
delight the inmost life of the soul.

E. SWEDENBORG.

The soul within had so often lighted up her countenance with its own full
happiness and joy, that something of a permanent radiance remained upon it.

SARAH W. STEPHEN.



July 19


_The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His
works_.--PS. cxlv. 9.

_For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand
hills_.--PS. 1. 10.

  Maker of earth and sea and sky,
    Creation's sovereign Lord and King,
  Who hung the starry worlds on high,
    And formed alike the sparrow's wing;
  Bless the dumb creatures of Thy care,
  And listen to their voiceless prayer.

ANON.

I believe where the love of God is verily perfected, and the true spirit of
government watchfully attended to, a tenderness towards all creatures made
subject to us will be experienced; and a care felt in us, that we do not
lessen that sweetness of life in the animal creation, which the great
Creator intends for them under our government. To say we love God as
unseen, and at the same time exercise cruelty toward the least creature
moving by His life, or by life derived from Him, was a contradiction in
itself.

JOHN WOOLMAN.

I would give nothing for that man's religion whose very dog and cat are not
the better for it.

ROWLAND HILL.



July 20


_Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught,
and in vain_.--ISA. xlix. 4.

  Because I spent the strength Thou gavest me
  In struggle which Thou never didst ordain,
  And have but dregs of life to offer Thee--
    O Lord, I do repent.

SARAH WILLIAMS.

Mind, it is our best work that He wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I
think He must prefer quality to quantity.

GEORGE MACDONALD.

If the people about you are carrying on their business or their benevolence
at a pace which drains the life out of you, resolutely take a slower pace;
be called a laggard, make less money, accomplish less work than they, but
be what you were meant to be and can be. You have your natural limit of
power as much as an engine,--ten-horse power, or twenty, or a hundred. You
are fit to do certain kinds of work, and you need a certain kind and amount
of fuel, and a certain kind of handling.

GEORGE S. MERRIAM.

In your occupations, try to possess your soul in peace. It is not a good
plan to be in haste to perform any action that it may be the sooner over.
On the contrary, you should accustom yourself to do whatever you have to do
with tranquillity, in order that you may retain the possession of yourself
and of settled peace.

MADAME GUYON.



July 21


_For which cause we faint not; but, though our outward man perish, yet the
inward man is renewed day by day_.--2 COR. iv. 16.

  Let my soul beneath her load
  Faint not through the o'erwearied flesh;
  Let me hourly drink afresh
  Love and peace from Thee, my God!

C. F. RICHTER.

In my attempts to promote the comfort of my family, the quiet of my spirit
has been disturbed. Some of this is doubtless owing to physical weakness;
but, with every temptation, there is a way of escape; there is _never_ any
_need_ to sin. Another thing I have suffered loss from,--entering into the
business of the day without seeking to have my spirit quieted and directed.
So many things press upon me, this is sometimes neglected; shame to me that
it should be so.

This is of great importance, to watch carefully,--now I am so weak--not to
over-fatigue myself, because then I cannot contribute to the pleasure of
others; and a placid face and a gentle tone will make my family more happy
than anything else I can do for them. Our own will gets sadly into the
performance of our duties sometimes.

ELIZABETH T. KING.



July 22


_Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand
the loving-kindness of the Lord_.--PS. cvii. 43.

  What channel needs our faith, except the eyes?
    God leaves no spot of earth unglorified;
  Profuse and wasteful, lovelinesses rise;
    New beauties dawn before the old have died.

  Trust thou thy joys in keeping of the Power
    Who holds these changing shadows in His hand;
  Believe and live, and know that hour by hour
    Will ripple newer beauty to thy strand.

T. W. HIGGINSON.

I wondered over again for the hundredth time what could be the principle
which, in the wildest, most lawless, fantastically chaotic, apparently
capricious work of nature, always kept it beautiful. The beauty of holiness
must be at the heart of it somehow, I thought. Because our God is so free
from stain, so loving, so unselfish, so good, so altogether what He wants
us to be, so holy, therefore all His works declare Him in beauty; His
fingers can touch nothing but to mould it into loveliness; and even the
play of His elements is in grace and tenderness of form.

G. MACDONALD.



July 23


_Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind_.--LUKE x. 27.

  O God, what offering shall I give
    To Thee, the Lord of earth and skies?
  My spirit, soul, and flesh receive,
    A holy, living sacrifice.

J. LANGE.

To love God "with all our heart," is to know the spiritual passion of
measureless gratitude for loving-kindness, and self-devotedness to
goodness; to love Him "with all our mind," is to know the passion for Truth
that is the enthusiasm of Science, the passion for Beauty that inspires
the poet and the artist, when all truth and beauty are regarded as the
self-revealings of God; to love Him "with all our soul," is to know the
saint's rapture of devotion and gaze of penitential awe into the face of
the All-holy, the saint's abhorrence of sin, and agony of desire to save
a sinner's soul; and to love Him "with all our strength," is the supreme
spiritual passion that tests the rest; the passion for reality, for worship
in spirit and in truth, for being what we adore, for doing what we know
to be God's word; the loyalty that exacts the living sacrifice, the whole
burnt-offering that is our reasonable service, and in our coldest hours
keeps steadfast to what seemed good when we were aglow.

J. H. THOM.



July 24


_Walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory_.--I
THESS. ii. 12.

_Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not_.--GEN. xxviii. 16.

  Thou earnest not to thy place by accident,
  It is the very place God meant for thee;
  And shouldst thou there small scope for action see,
  Do not for this give room to discontent.

R. C. TRENCH.

Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of
your contemporaries, the connection of events.

R. W. EMERSON.

Adapt thyself to the things with which thy lot has been cast; and love the
men with whom it is thy portion to live, and that with a sincere affection.
No longer be either dissatisfied with thy present lot, or shrink from the
future.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.

I love best to have each thing in its season, doing without it at all other
times. I have never got over my surprise that I should have been born into
the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time
too.

H. D. THOREAU.



July 25


_He knoweth the way that I take_.--JOB xxiii. 10.

_Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own
way_?--PROV. xx. 24.

  Be quiet, why this anxious heed
  About thy tangled ways?
  God knows them all, He giveth speed,
  And He allows delays.

E. W.

We complain of the slow, dull life we are forced to lead, of our humble
sphere of action, of our low position in the scale of society, of our
having no room to make ourselves known, of our wasted energies, of our
years of patience. So do we say that we have no Father who is directing our
life; so do we say that God has forgotten us; so do we boldly judge what
life is best for us, and so by our complaining do we lose the use and
profit of the quiet years. O men of little faith! Because you are not sent
out yet into your labor, do you think God has ceased to remember you?
Because you are forced to be outwardly inactive, do you think you, also,
may not be, in your years of quiet, "about your Father's business"? It is a
period given to us in which to mature ourselves for the work which God will
give us to do.

STOPFORD A. BROOKE.



July 26


_They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be
removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem,
so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever_.--PS.
cxxv. I, 2.

    How on a rock they stand,
  Who watch His eye, and hold His guiding hand!
  Not half so fixed amid her vassal hills,
  Rises the holy pile that Kedron's valley fills.

J. KEBLE.

That is the way to be immovable in the midst of troubles, as a rock amidst
the waves. When God is in the midst of a kingdom or city, He makes it firm
as Mount Sion, that cannot be removed. When He is in the midst of a soul,
though calamities throng about it on all hands, and roar like the billows
of the sea, yet there is a constant calm within, such a peace as the world
can neither give nor take away. What is it but want of lodging God in the
soul, and that in His stead the world is in men's hearts, that makes them
shake like leaves at every blast of danger?

R. LEIGHTON.



July 27


_He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word,
and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty_.--MATT. xiii. 23.

  Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch
    At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb;
  Keep clean, bear fruit, earn life, and watch
    Till the white-winged reapers come.

H. VAUGHAN.

He does not need to transplant us into a different field, but right where
we are, with just the circumstances that surround us, He makes His sun to
shine and His dew to fall upon us, and transforms the very things that were
before our greatest hindrances, into the chiefest and most blessed means
of our growth. No difficulties in your case can baffle Him. No dwarfing
of your growth in years that are past, no apparent dryness of your
inward springs of life, no crookedness or deformity in any of your past
development, can in the least mar the perfect work that He will accomplish,
if you will only put yourselves absolutely into His hands, and let Him have
His own way with you.

H. W. SMITH.



July 28


_But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which
are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope_.--I
THESS. iv. 13.

  Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust
    (Since He who knows our need is just),
  That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
    Alas for him who never sees
    The stars shine through his cypress trees;
  Who hath not learned in hours of faith,
    The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
  That life is ever Lord of Death,
    And Love can never lose its own.

J. G. WHITTIER.

While we poor wayfarers still toil, with hot and bleeding feet, along the
highway and the dust of life, our companions have but mounted the divergent
path, to explore the more sacred streams, and visit the diviner vales, and
wander amid the everlasting Alps, of God's upper province of creation. And
so we keep up the courage of our hearts, and refresh ourselves with the
memories of love, and travel forward in the ways of duty, with less weary
step, feeling ever for the hand of God, and listening for the domestic
voices of the immortals whose happy welcome waits us. Death, in short,
under the Christian aspect, is but God's method of colonization; the
transition from this mother-country of our race to the fairer and newer
world of our emigration.

J. MARTINEAU.



July 29


_But this I say, brethren, the time is short_.--I COR. vii. 29.

  I sometimes feel the thread of life is slender,
  And soon with me the labor will be wrought;
  Then grows my heart to other hearts more tender.
    The time is short.

D. M. CRAIK.

Oh, my dear friends, you who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on
from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day; you who are keeping
wretched quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your mind that now
is the day to sacrifice your pride and kill them; you who are passing men
sullenly upon the street, not speaking to them out of some silly spite, and
yet knowing that it would fill you with shame and remorse if you heard
that one of those men were dead tomorrow morning; you who are letting your
neighbor starve, till you hear that he is dying of starvation; or letting
your friend's heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you
mean to give him some day,--if you only could know and see and feel, all of
a sudden, that "the time is short," how it would break the spell! How you
would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another
chance to do.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.



July 30


_Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy
mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O Lord_.--PS. XXV. 7.

  When on my aching, burdened heart
    My sins lie heavily,
  My pardon speak, new peace impart,
    In love remember me.

T. HAWEIS.

We need to know that our sins are forgiven. And how shall we know this? By
feeling that we have peace with God,--by feeling that we are able so to
trust in the divine compassion and infinite tenderness of our Father, as
to arise and go to Him, whenever we commit sin, and say at once to Him,
"Father, I have sinned; forgive me." To know that we are forgiven, it is
only necessary to look at our Father's love till it sinks into our heart,
to open our soul to Him till He shall pour His love into it; to wait on Him
till we find peace, till our conscience no longer torments us, till the
weight of responsibility ceases to be an oppressive burden to us, till we
can feel that our sins, great as they are, cannot keep us away from our
Heavenly Father.

J. F. CLARKE.



July 31


_I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud,
thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee_.--ISA. xliv. 22.

_He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our
iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the
sea_.--MICAH vii. 19.

  If my shut eyes should dare their lids to part,
  I know how they must quail beneath the blaze
  Of Thy Love's greatness. No; I dare not raise
  One prayer, to look aloft, lest it should gaze
  On such forgiveness as would break my heart.

H. S. SUTTON.

O Lord God gracious and merciful, give us, I entreat Thee, a humble trust
in Thy mercy, and suffer not our heart to fail us. Though our sins be
seven, though our sins be seventy times seven, though our sins be more in
number than the hairs of our head, yet give us grace in loving penitence to
cast ourselves down into the depth of Thy compassion. Let us fall into the
hand of the Lord. Amen.

C. G. ROSSETTI.



August 1


_Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of
fools_.--ECCLES. vii. 9.

_Let not the sun go down upon your wrath_--EPH. iv. 26.

  Quench thou the fires of hate and strife,
    The wasting fever of the heart;
  From perils guard our feeble life,
    And to our souls Thy peace impart.

J. H. NEWMAN, _Tr. from Latin_.

When thou art offended or annoyed by others, suffer not thy thoughts to
dwell thereon, or on anything relating to them. For example, "that they
ought not so to have treated thee; who they are, or whom they think
themselves to be;" or the like; for all this is fuel and kindling of wrath,
anger, and hatred.

L. SCUPOLI.

Struggle diligently against your impatience, and strive to be amiable and
gentle, in season and out of season, towards every one, however much they
may vex and annoy you, and be sure God will bless your efforts.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



August 2


_Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord
Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation_.--ISA.
xii. 2.

_Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith_?--MARK. iv. 40.

  Still heavy is thy heart?
    Still sink thy spirits down?
  Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
    And every care be gone.

P. GERHARDT.

Go on in all simplicity; do not be so anxious to win a quiet mind, and it
will be all the quieter. Do not examine so closely into the progress of
your soul. Do not crave so much to be perfect, but let your spiritual life
be formed by your duties, and by the actions which are called forth by
circumstances. Do not take overmuch thought for to-morrow. God, who has led
you safely on so far, will lead you on to the end. Be altogether at rest
in the loving holy confidence which you ought to have in His heavenly
Providence.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



August 3


_Thou hast made him exceeding glad with Thy countenance_.--PS. xxi. 6.

  MY heart for gladness springs,
    It cannot more be sad,
  For very joy it laughs and sings,
    Sees nought but sunshine glad.

P. GERHARDT.

A new day rose upon me. It was as if another sun had risen into the sky;
the heavens were indescribably brighter, and the earth fairer; and that day
has gone on brightening to the present hour. I have known the other joys of
life, I suppose, as much as most men; I have known art and beauty, music
and gladness; I have known friendship and love and family ties; but it is
certain that till we see GOD in the world--GOD in the bright and boundless
universe--we never know the highest joy. It is far more than if one were
translated to a world a thousand times fairer than this; for that supreme
and central Light of Infinite Love and Wisdom, shining over this world
and all worlds, alone can show us how noble and beautiful, how fair and
glorious they are.

ORVILLE DEWEY.

When I look like this into the blue sky, it seems so deep, so peaceful, so
full of a mysterious tenderness, that I could lie for centuries and wait
for the dawning of the face of God out of the awful loving-kindness.

G. MACDONALD.



August 4


_He satisfieth the longing soul, and the hungry soul He filleth with
good_.--PS. cvii. 9 (R. V.).

_That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God_.--EPH. iii. 19.

  Enough that He who made can fill the soul
    Here and hereafter till its deeps o'erflow;
  Enough that love and tenderness control
    Our fate where'er in joy or doubt we go.

ANON.

O God, the Life of the Faithful, the Bliss of the righteous, mercifully
receive the prayers of Thy suppliants, that the souls which thirst for Thy
promises may evermore be filled from Thy abundance. Amen.

GELASIAN SACRAMENTARY, A. D. 490.

God makes every common thing serve, if thou wilt, to enlarge that capacity
of bliss in His love. Not a prayer, not an act of faithfulness in your
calling, not a self-denying or kind word or deed, done out of love for
Himself; not a weariness or painfulness endured patiently; not a duty
performed; not a temptation resisted; but it enlarges the whole soul for
the endless capacity of the love of God.

E. B. PUSEY.



August 5


_O receive the gift that is given you, and be glad, giving thanks unto Him
that hath called you to the heavenly kingdom_.--2 ESDRAS ii. 37.

_Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift_.--2 COR. ix. 15.

  O Giver of each perfect gift!
  This day our daily bread supply;
  While from the Spirit's tranquil depths
  We drink unfailing draughts of joy.

LYRA CATHOLICA.

The best way for a man rightly to enjoy himself, is to maintain a
universal, ready, and cheerful compliance with the divine and uncreated
Will in all things; as knowing that nothing can issue and flow forth from
the fountain of goodness but that which is good; and therefore a good man
is never offended with any piece of divine dispensation, nor hath he any
reluctancy against that Will that dictates and determines all things by
an eternal rule of goodness; as knowing that there is an unbounded and
almighty Love that, without any disdain or envy, freely communicates itself
to everything He made; that always enfolds those in His everlasting arms
who are made partakers of His own image, perpetually nourishing and
cherishing them with the fresh and vital influences of His grace.

DR. JOHN SMITH.



August 6


_Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits_.--PS. ciii. 2.

  Wiser it were to welcome and make ours
  Whate'er of good, though small, the Present brings,--
  Kind greetings, sunshine, song of birds, and flowers,
  With a child's pure delight in little things.

R. C. TRENCH.

Into all our lives, in many simple, familiar, homely ways, God infuses this
element of joy from the surprises of life, which unexpectedly brighten our
days, and fill our eyes with light. He drops this added sweetness into His
children's cup, and makes it to run over. The success we were not counting
on, the blessing we were not trying after, the strain of music, in the
midst of drudgery, the beautiful morning picture or sunset glory thrown
in as we pass to or from our daily business, the unsought word of
encouragement or expression of sympathy, the sentence that meant for us
more than the writer or speaker thought,--these and a hundred others that
every one's experience can supply are instances of what I mean. You may
call it accident or chance--it often is; you may call it human goodness--it
often is; but always, always call it God's love, for that is always in it.
These are the overflowing riches of His grace, these are His free gifts.

S. LONGFELLOW.



August 7


_If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that
believeth_.--MARK ix. 23.

_Nothing shall be impossible unto you_.--MATT. xvii. 20.

  So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
    So near is God to man,
  When Duty whispers low, _Thou must_,
    The youth replies, _I can_.

R. W. EMERSON.

Know that "impossible," where truth and mercy and the everlasting voice of
nature order, has no place in the brave man's dictionary. That when all men
have said "Impossible," and tumbled noisily elsewhither, and thou alone art
left, then first thy time and possibility have come. It is for thee now: do
thou that, and ask no man's counsel, but thy own only and God's. Brother,
thou hast possibility in thee for much: the possibility of writing on the
eternal skies the record of a heroic life.

T. CARLYLE.

In the moral world there is nothing impossible, if we bring a thorough will
to it. Man can do everything with himself; but he must not attempt to do
too much with others.

WM. VON HUMBOLDT.



August 8


_Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage_.--GAL. v. i.

_I believed, and therefore have I spoken_.--2 COR. iv. 13.

  They are slaves who fear to speak
  For the fallen and the weak;
  They are slaves who will not choose
  Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
  Rather than in silence shrink
  From the truth they needs must think;
  They are slaves who dare not be
  In the right with two or three.

J. R. LOWELL.

The real corrupters of society may be, not the corrupt, but those who have
held back the righteous leaven, the salt that has lost its savor, the
innocent who have not even the moral courage to show what they think of the
effrontery of impurity,--the serious, who yet timidly succumb before
some loud-voiced scoffer,--the heart trembling all over with religious
sensibilities that yet suffers itself through false shame to be beaten down
into outward and practical acquiescence by some rude and worldly nature.

J. H. THOM.



August 9


_The things which are impossible with men are possible with God_.--LUKE
xviii. 27.

_Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in
silence_.--PS. xciv. 17.

  When obstacles and trials seem
    Like prison-walls to be,
  I do the little I can do,
    And leave the rest to Thee.

F. W. FABER.

The mind never puts forth greater power over itself than when, in great
trials, it yields up calmly its desires, affections, interests to God.
There are seasons when to be _still_ demands immeasurably higher strength
than to act. Composure is often the highest result of power. Think you it
demands no power to calm the stormy elements of passion, to moderate the
vehemence of desire, to throw off the load of dejection, to suppress every
repining thought, when the dearest hopes are withered, and to turn the
wounded spirit from dangerous reveries and wasting grief, to the quiet
discharge of ordinary duties? Is there no power put forth, when a man,
stripped of his property, of the fruits of a life's labors, quells
discontent and gloomy forebodings, and serenely and patiently returns to
the tasks which Providence assigns?

WM. E. CHANNING.



August 10


_The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it_?--JOHN xviii.
11.

_Whatsoever is brought upon thee, take cheerfully_.--ECCLESIASTICUS ii. 4.

  Every sorrow, every smart,
  That the Eternal Father's heart
  Hath appointed me of yore,
  Or hath yet for me in store,
  As my life flows on, I 'll take
  Calmly, gladly, for His sake,
  No more faithless murmurs make

P. GERHARDT.

The very least and the very greatest sorrows that God ever suffers to
befall thee, proceed from the depths of His unspeakable love; and such
great love were better for thee than the highest and best gifts besides
that He has given thee, or ever could give thee, if thou couldst but see it
in this light. So that if your little finger only aches, if you are cold,
if you are hungry or thirsty, if others vex you by their words or deeds, or
whatever happens to you that causes you distress or pain, it will all help
to fit you for a noble and blessed state.

J. TAULER.



AUGUST 11


_The Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou
puttest thine hand unto_.--DEUT. xv. 10.

  My place of lowly service, too,
    Beneath Thy sheltering wings I see;
  For all the work I have to do
    Is done through strengthening rest in Thee.

A. L. WARING.

I think I find most help in trying to look on all interruptions and
hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline,
trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's
work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work--one's work for
God--consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown
into one's day. It is not waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it
is the most important part of the work of the day,--the part one can best
offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work;
trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet
heart about it.

ANNIE KEARY.



August 12


_Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life_?--LUKE x. 25.

_Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might_.--ECCLES. ix. 10.

  "What shall I do to gain eternal life?"
    "Discharge aright
  The simple dues with which each day is rife,
    Yea, with thy might."

F. VON SCHILLER.

A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work, and done
his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace.

R. W. EMERSON.

Be diligent, after thy power, to do deeds of love. Think nothing too
little, nothing too low, to do lovingly for the sake of God. Bear with
infirmities, ungentle tempers, contradictions; visit, if thou mayest, the
sick; relieve the poor; forego thyself and thine own ways for love; and He
whom in them thou lovest, to whom in them thou ministerest, will own thy
love, and will pour His own love into thee.

E. B. PUSEY.



August 13


_In your patience possess ye your souls_.--LUKE xxi. 19.

  What though thy way be dark, and earth
  With ceaseless care do cark, till mirth
    To thee no sweet strain singeth;
  Still hide thy life above, and still
  Believe that God is love; fulfil
    Whatever lot He bringeth.

ALBERT E. EVANS.

The soul loses command of itself when it is impatient. Whereas, when it
submits without a murmur it possesses itself in peace, and possesses God.
To be impatient, is to desire what we have not, or not to desire what we
have. When we acquiesce in an evil, it is no longer such. Why make a real
calamity of it by resistance? Peace does not dwell in outward things, but
within the soul. We may preserve it in the midst of the bitterest pain,
if our will remains firm and submissive. Peace in this life springs from
acquiescence even in disagreeable things, not in an exemption from bearing
them.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself,
as our own spirit of resistance to it.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



August 14


_I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help_.--PS.
cxxi. 1.

_My grace is sufficient for thee_.--2 COR. xii. 9.

  I look to Thee in every need,
    And never look in vain;
  I feel Thy touch, Eternal Love,
    And all is well again:
  The thought of Thee is mightier far
  Than sin and pain and sorrow are.

S. LONGFELLOW.

How can you live sweetly amid the vexatious things, the irritating things,
the multitude of little worries and frets, which lie all along your way,
and which you cannot evade? You cannot at present change your surroundings.
Whatever kind of life you are to live, must be lived amid precisely the
experiences in which you are now moving. Here you must win your victories
or suffer your defeats. No restlessness or discontent can change your lot.
Others may have other circumstances surrounding them, but here are yours.
You had better make up your mind to accept what you cannot alter. You can
live a beautiful life in the midst of your present circumstances.

J. R. MILLER.

Strive to realize a state of inward happiness, independent of
circumstances.

J. P. GREAVES.



August 15


_God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and
of a sound mind_.--2 TIM. i. 7.

  We cast behind fear, sin, and death;
    With Thee we seek the things above;
  Our inmost souls Thy spirit breathe,
    Of power, of calmness, and of love.

HYMNS OF THE SPIRIT.

I must conclude with a more delightful subject,--my most dear and blessed
sister. I never saw a more perfect instance of the spirit of power and of
love, and of a sound mind; intense love, almost to the annihilation of
selfishness--a daily martyrdom for twenty years, during which she adhered
to her early-formed resolution of never talking about herself; thoughtful
about the very pins and ribands of my wife's dress, about the making of a
doll's cap for a child,--but of herself, save only as regarded her ripening
in all goodness, wholly thoughtless; enjoying everything lovely, graceful,
beautiful, high-minded, whether in God's works or man's, with the keenest
relish; inheriting the earth to the very fulness of the promise, though
never leaving her crib, nor changing her posture; and preserved through the
very valley of the shadow of death, from all fear or impatience, or from
every cloud of impaired reason, which might mar the beauty of Christ's
spirit's glorious work.

THOMAS ARNOLD.



August 16


_Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap_.--GAL. vi. 7.

  The life above, when this is past,
    Is the ripe fruit of life below.

  Sow love, and taste its fruitage pure;
    Sow peace, and reap its harvest bright;
  Sow sunbeams on the rock and moor,
    And find a harvest-home of light.

H. BONAR.

The dispositions, affections, inclinations of soul, which shall issue
hereafter in perfection, must be trained and nurtured in us throughout the
whole course of this earthly life. When shall we bear in mind this plain
truth, that the future perfection of the saints is not a translation from
one state or disposition of soul into another, diverse from the former; but
the carrying out, and, as it were, the blossom and the fruitage of one and
the same principle of spiritual life, which, through their whole career on
earth, has been growing with an even strength, putting itself forth in
the beginnings and promise of perfection, reaching upward with steadfast
aspirations after perfect holiness?

H. E. MANNING.



August 17


_O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give Thy strength unto Thy
servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid_.--PS. lxxxvi. 16.

  Thou art my King--
  My King henceforth alone;
  And I, Thy servant, Lord, am all Thine own.
  Give me Thy strength; oh! let Thy dwelling be
  In this poor heart that pants, my Lord, for Thee!

G. TERSTEEGEN.

When it is the one ruling, never-ceasing desire of our hearts, that God may
be the beginning and end, the reason and motive, the rule and measure, of
our doing or not doing, from morning to night; then everywhere, whether
speaking or silent, whether inwardly or outwardly employed, we are equally
offered up to the eternal Spirit, have our life in Him and from Him, and
are united to Him by that Spirit of Prayer which is the comfort, the
support, the strength and security of the soul, travelling, by the help of
God, through the vanity of time into the riches of eternity. Let us have no
thought or care, but how to be wholly His devoted instruments; everywhere,
and in everything, His adoring, joyful, and thankful servants.

WM. LAW.



August 18


_Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward
God_--I JOHN iii. 21.

  O Lord, how happy is the time
    When in Thy love I rest:
  When from my weariness I climb
    E'en to Thy tender breast.
  The night of sorrow endeth there,
    Thy rays outshine the sun;
  And in Thy pardon and Thy care
    The heaven of heavens is won.

W. C. DESSLER.

Nothing doth so much establish the mind amidst the rollings and turbulency
of present things, as both a look above them, and a look beyond them; above
them to the good and steady Hand by which they are ruled, and beyond them
to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that Hand, they shall be
brought. Study pure and holy walking, if you would have your confidence
firm, and have boldness and joy in God. You will find that a little sin
will shake your trust and disturb your peace more than the greatest
sufferings: yea, in those sufferings, your assurance and joy in God will
grow and abound most if sin be kept out. So much sin as gets in, so much
peace will go out.

R. LEIGHTON.



August 19


_Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path_.--PS. xxvii. 11.

  Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead Thou me on;
  The night is dark, and I am far from home,
    Lead Thou me on.
  Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
  The distant scene; one step enough for me.

J. H. NEWMAN.

God only is holy; He alone knows how to lead His children in the paths of
holiness. He knows every aspect of your soul, every thought of your heart,
every secret of your character, its difficulties and hindrances; He
knows how to mould you to His will, and lead you onwards to perfect
sanctification; He knows exactly how each event, each trial, each
temptation, will tell upon you, and He disposes all things accordingly. The
consequences of this belief, if fully grasped, will influence your whole
life. You will seek to give yourself up to God more and more unreservedly,
asking nothing, refusing nothing, wishing nothing, but what He wills; not
seeking to bring things about for yourself, taking all He sends joyfully,
and believing the "one step" set before you to be enough for you. You will
be satisfied that even though there are clouds around, and your way seems
dark, He is directing all, and that what seems a hindrance will prove a
blessing, since He wills it.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



August 20


_Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord_.--PS. xxvii. 14.

_He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth
strength_.--ISA. xl. 29.

 Leaning on Him, make with reverent meekness
    His own thy will,
  And with strength from Him shall thy utter weakness
    Life's task fulfil.

J. G. WHITTIER.

Should we feel at times disheartened and discouraged, a confiding thought,
a simple movement of heart towards God will renew our powers. Whatever
He may demand of us, He will give us at the moment the strength and the
courage that we need.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

We require a certain firmness in all circumstances of life, even the
happiest, and perhaps contradictions come in order to prove and exercise
this; and, if we can only determine so to use them, the very effort brings
back tranquillity to the soul, which always enjoys having exercised its
strength in conformity to duty.

WM. VON HUMBOLDT.



August 21


_We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not
to please ourselves_.--ROM. xv. 1.

_The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know
how to speak a word in season to him that is weary_.

  If there be some weaker one,
  Give me strength to help him on;
  If a blinder soul there be,
  Let me guide him nearer Thee.

J. G. WHITTIER.

Ask Him to increase your powers of sympathy: to give you more quickness
and depth of sympathy, in little things as well as great. Opportunities of
doing a kindness are often lost from mere want of thought. Half a dozen
lines of kindness may bring sunshine into the whole day of some sick
person. Think of the pleasure you might give to some one who is much shut
up, and who has fewer pleasures than you have, by sharing with her some
little comfort or enjoyment that you have learnt to look upon as a
necessary of life,--the pleasant drive, the new book, flowers from the
country, etc. Try to put yourself in another's place. Ask "What should I
like myself, if I were hard-worked, or sick, or lonely?" Cultivate the
_habit_ of sympathy.

G. H. WILKINSON.



August 22


_I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service_.--ROM. xii. 1.

  Thou hast my flesh, Thy hallowed shrine,
    Devoted solely to Thy will;
  Here let Thy light forever shine,
    This house still let Thy presence fill;
  O Source of Life, live, dwell, and move
  In me, till all my life be love!

JOACHIM LANCE.

May it not be a comfort to those of us who feel we have not the mental
or spiritual power that others have, to notice that the living sacrifice
mentioned in Rom. xii. 1, is our "bodies"? Of course, that includes the
mental power, but does it not also include the loving, sympathizing glance,
the kind, encouraging word, _the ready errand for another_, the work of our
hands, opportunities for all of which come oftener in the day than for
the mental power we are often tempted to envy? May we be enabled to offer
willingly that which we have.

ANON.



August 23


_Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not_.--JER. xlv. 5.

  I would not have the restless will
    That hurries to and fro,
  Seeking for some great thing to do,
    Or secret thing to know;
  I would be treated as a child,
    And guided where I go.

A. L. WARING.

Oh! be little, be little; and then thou wilt be content with little; and
if thou feel, now and then, a check or a secret smiting,--in _that_ is
the Father's love; be not over-wise, nor over-eager, in thy own willing,
running, and desiring, and thou mayest feel it so; and by degrees come to
the knowledge of thy Guide, who will lead thee, step by step, in the
path of life, and teach thee to follow. Be still, and wait for light and
strength.

I. PENINGTON.

Sink into the sweet and blessed littleness, where thou livest by grace
alone. Contemplate with delight the holiness and goodness in God, which
thou dost not find in thyself. How lovely it is to be nothing when God is
all!

G. TERSTEEGEN.



August 24


_And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go
forth, and are choked with cares, and riches and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to perfection_.--LUKE viii. 14.

  Preserve me from my calling's snare,
    And hide my simple heart above,
  Above the thorns of choking care,
    The gilded baits of worldly love.

C. WESLEY.

Anything allowed in the heart which is contrary to the will of God, let it
seem ever so insignificant, or be ever so deeply hidden, will cause us to
fall before our enemies. Any root of bitterness cherished towards another,
any self-seeking, any harsh judgments indulged in, any slackness in obeying
the voice of the Lord, any doubtful habits or surroundings, any one of
these things will effectually cripple and paralyze our spiritual life. I
believe our blessed Guide, the indwelling Holy Spirit, is always secretly
discovering these things to us by continual little twinges and pangs of
conscience, so that we are left without excuse,

H. W. SMITH.



August 25


_See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh_.--HEB. xii. 25.

  From the world of sin and noise
    And hurry I withdraw;
  For the small and inward voice
    I wait with humble awe;
  Silent am I now and still,
    Dare not in Thy presence move;
  To my waiting soul reveal
    The secret of Thy love.

C. WESLEY.

When therefore the smallest instinct or desire of thy heart calleth thee
towards God, and a newness of life, give it time and leave to speak; and
take care thou refuse not Him that speaketh. Be retired, silent, passive,
and humbly attentive to this new risen light within thee.

WM. LAW.

It is hardly to be wondered at that he should lose the finer consciousness
of higher powers and deeper feelings, not from any behavior in itself
wrong, but from the hurry, noise, and tumult in the streets of life, that,
penetrating too deep into the house of life, dazed and stupefied the silent
and lonely watcher in the chamber of conscience, far apart. He had no time
to think or feel.

G. MACDONALD.



August 26


_Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord_.--ZECH. ii. 13.

  Be earth, with all her scenes, withdrawn;
  Let noise and vanity be gone:
  In secret silence of the mind,
  My heaven, and there my God, I find.

I. WATTS.

It is only with the pious affection of the will that we can be spiritually
attentive to God. As long as the noisy restlessness of the thoughts goes
on, the gentle and holy desires of the new nature are overpowered and
inactive.

J. P. GREAVES.

There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to
us wellnigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the
soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always
whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry,
and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.

F. W. FABER.

The prayer of faith is a sincere, sweet, and quiet view of divine, eternal
truth. The soul rests quiet, perceiving and loving God; sweetly rejecting
all the imaginations that present themselves, calming the mind in the
Divine presence, and fixing it only on God.

M. DE MOLINOS.



August 27


_Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work
in you will perform it_.--PHIL. i. 6.

_He that endureth to the end shall be saved_.--MATT. x. 22.

  Fill with inviolable peace;
    Stablish and keep my settled heart;
  In Thee may all my wanderings cease,
    From Thee no more may I depart:
  Thy utmost goodness called to prove,
  Loved with an everlasting love!

C. WESLEY.

If any sincere Christian cast himself with his whole will upon the Divine
Presence which dwells within him, he shall be kept safe unto the end. What
is it that makes us unable to persevere? Is it want of strength? By no
means. We have with us the strength of the Holy Spirit. When did we ever
set ourselves sincerely to any work according to the will of God, and fail
for want of strength? It was not that strength failed the will, but that
the will failed first. If we could but embrace the Divine will with the
whole love of ours; cleaving to it, and holding fast by it, we should be
borne along as upon "the river of the water of life." We open only certain
chambers of our will to the influence of the Divine will. We are afraid of
being wholly absorbed into it. And yet, if we would have peace, we must be
altogether united to Him.

H. E. MANNING.



August 28


_They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, Lord, hast
not forsaken them that seek Thee_.--PS. ix. 10.

_Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good_.--PS. lxxxv. 12.

  In Thee I place my trust,
    On Thee I calmly rest;
  I know Thee good, I know Thee just,
    And count Thy choice the best.

H. F. LYTE.

The souls that would really be richer in duty in some new position, are
precisely those who borrow no excuses from the old one; who even esteem
it full of privileges, plenteous in occasions of good, frequent in divine
appeals, which they chide their graceless and unloving temper for not
heeding more. Wretched and barren is the discontent that quarrels with its
tools instead of with its skill; and, by criticising Providence, manages
to keep up complacency with self. How gentle should we be, if we were not
provoked; how pious, if we were not busy; the sick would be patient, only
he is not in health; the obscure would do great things, only he is not
conspicuous!

J. MARTINEAU.



August 29


_Am I my brother's keeper_?--GEN. iv. 9.

  Because I held upon my selfish, road,
  And left my brother wounded by the way,
  And called ambition duty, and pressed on--
      O Lord, I do repent.

SARAH WILLIAMS.

How many are the sufferers who have fallen amongst misfortunes along
the wayside of life! "By _chance_" we come that way; chance, accident,
Providence, has thrown them in our way; we see them from a distance, like
the Priest, or we come upon them suddenly, like the Levite; our business,
our pleasure, is interrupted by the sight, is troubled by the delay; what
are our feelings, what our actions towards them? "Who is thy neighbor?" It
is the sufferer, wherever, whoever, whatsoever he be. Wherever thou hearest
the cry of distress, wherever thou seest any one brought across thy path by
the chances and changes of life (that is, by the Providence of God), whom
it is in thy power to help,--he, stranger or enemy though he be,--_he_ is
thy neighbor.

A. P. STANLEY.



August 30


_Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness
and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love_.--EPH.
iv. 1, 2.

  Help us, O Lord, with patient love to bear
    Each other's faults, to suffer with true meekness;
  Help us each other's joys and griefs to share,
    But let us turn to Thee alone in weakness.

ANON.

You should make a special point of asking God every morning to give you,
before all else, that true spirit of meekness which He would have His
children possess. You must also make a firm resolution to practise yourself
in this virtue, especially in your intercourse with those persons to whom
you chiefly owe it. You must make it your main object to conquer yourself
in this matter; call it to mind a hundred times during the day, commending
your efforts to God. It seems to me that no more than this is needed in
order to subject your soul entirely to His will, and then you will become
more gentle day by day, trusting wholly in His goodness. You will be very
happy, my dearest child, if you can do this, for God will dwell in your
heart; and where He reigns all is peace. But if you should fail, and commit
some of your old faults, do not be disheartened, but rise up and go on
again, as though you had not fallen.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.


August 31


_Now therefore keep thy sorrow to thyself, and bear with a good courage
that which hath befallen thee_.--2 ESDRAS x. 15.

  Go, bury thy sorrow,
    The world hath its share;
  Go, bury it deeply,
    Go, hide it with care.
  Go, bury thy sorrow,
    Let others be blest;
  Go, give them the sunshine,
    And tell God the rest.

ANON.

Our veiled and terrible guest [Trouble] brings for us, if we will accept
it, the boon of fortitude, patience, self-control, wisdom, sympathy, faith.
If we reject that, then we find in our hands the other gift,--cowardice,
weakness, isolation, despair. If your trouble seems to have in it no other
possibility of good, at least set yourself to bear it like a man. Let none
of its weight come on other shoulders. Try to carry it so that no one shall
even see it. Though your heart be sad within, let cheer go out from you to
others. Meet them with a kindly presence, considerate words, helpful acts.

G. S. MERRIAM.



September 1


_Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of
their souls to Him in welldoing, as unto a faithful Creator_.--I PETER iv.
19.

_The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy_.--JAMES v. 11.

  On Thy compassion I repose
    In weakness and distress:
  I will not ask for greater ease,
    Lest I should love Thee less;
  Oh, 'tis a blessed thing for me
    To need Thy tenderness.

A. L. WARING.

Oh, look not at thy pain or sorrow, how great soever; but look from them,
look off them, look beyond them, to the Deliverer! whose power is over
them, and whose loving, wise, and tender spirit is able to do thee good by
them. The Lord lead thee, day by day, in the right way, and keep thy mind
stayed upon Him, in whatever befalls thee; that the belief of His love and
hope in His mercy, when thou art at the lowest ebb, may keep up thy head
above the billows.

ISAAC PENINGTON


September 2


_Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of
God_.--MATT. v. 6.

  Grant us Thy peace, down from Thy presence falling,
    As on the thirsty earth cool night-dews sweet;
  Grant us Thy peace, to Thy pure paths recalling,
    From devious ways, our worn and wandering feet.

E. SCUDDER.

O God, who art Peace everlasting, whose chosen reward is the gift of peace,
and who hast taught us that the peacemakers are Thy children, pour Thy
sweet peace into our souls, that everything discordant may utterly vanish,
and all that makes for peace be sweet to us forever. Amen.

GELASIAN SACRAMENTARY, A. D. 492.

Have you ever thought seriously of the meaning of that blessing given to
the peacemakers? People are always expecting to get peace in heaven; but
you know whatever peace they get there will be ready-made. Whatever making
of peace _they_ can be blest for, must be on the earth here: not the taking
of arms against, but the building of nests amidst, its "sea of troubles"
[like the halcyons]. Difficult enough, you think? Perhaps so, but I do not
see that any of us try. We complain of the want of many things--we want
votes, we want liberty, we want amusement, we want money. Which of us feels
or knows that he wants peace?

J. RUSKIN.


September 3


_The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due
season_.--PS. cxlv. 15.

_What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee_.--PS. lvi. 3.

  Late on me, weeping, did this whisper fall:
  "Dear child, there is no need to weep at all!
  Why go about to grieve and to despair?
  Why weep now through thy Future's eyes, and bear
  In vain to-day to-morrow's load of care?"

H. S. SUTTON.

The crosses of the present moment always bring their own special grace and
consequent comfort with them; we see the hand of God in them when it is
laid upon us. But the crosses of anxious foreboding are seen out of the
dispensation of God; we see them without grace to bear them; we see them
indeed through a faithless spirit which banishes grace. So, everything in
them is bitter and unendurable; all seems dark and helpless. Let us throw
self aside; no more self-interest, and then God's will, unfolding every
moment in everything, will console us also every moment for all that He
shall do around us, or within us, for our discipline.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



September 4


_His delight is in the law of the Lord. And he shall be like a tree planted
by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his
leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper_.--PS. i.
2, 3.

  The wind that blows can never kill
    The tree God plants;
  It bloweth east; it bloweth west;
  The tender leaves have little rest,
  But any wind that blows is best.
    The tree God plants
  Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
  Spreads wider boughs, for God's good-will
    Meets all its wants.

LILLIE E. BARR.

It is a fatal mistake to suppose that we cannot be holy except on the
condition of a situation and circumstances in life such as shall suit
ourselves. It is one of the first principles of holiness to leave our times
and our places, our going out and our coming; in, our wasted and our goodly
heritage entirely with the Lord. Here, O Lord, hast Thou placed us, and we
will glorify Thee here!

T. C. UPHAM.

It is not by change of circumstances, but by fitting our spirits to the
circumstances in which God has placed us, that we can be reconciled to life
and duty.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



September 5


_O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me_.--ISA. xxxviii. 14.

  Being perplexed, I say,
    Lord, make it right!
  Night is as day to Thee,
    Darkness is light.
  I am afraid to touch
  Things that involve so much;--
    My trembling hand may shake,
    My skill-less hand may break:
    Thine can make no mistake.

ANNA B. WARNER.

The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you
strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this
ever before you, and remember constantly that God's loving eyes are upon
you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you
take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and
if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be
discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



September 6


_If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross
daily, and follow me_.--LUKE ix. 23.

  There lies thy cross; beneath it meekly bow;
    It fits thy stature now;
  Who scornful pass it with averted eye,
    'Twill crush them by and by.

J. KEBLE.

To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it
consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to
us.

J. H. NEWMAN.

On one occasion an intimate friend of his was fretting somewhat at not
being able to put a cross on the grave of a relation, because the rest of
the family disliked it. "Don't you see," he said to her, "that by giving up
your own way, you will be virtually putting a cross on the grave? You 'll
have it in its effect. The one is but a stone cross, the other is a true
spiritual cross."

LIFE OF JAMES HINTON.

I would have you, one by one, ask yourselves, Wherein do I take up the
cross daily?

E. B. PUSEY.

Every morning, receive thine own special cross from the hands of thy
heavenly Father.

L. SCUPOLI.



September 7


_Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit
the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself
unspotted from the world_.--JAMES i. 27.

  Not to ease and aimless quiet
    Doth that inward answer tend,
  But to works of love and duty
    As our being's end.

J. G. WHITTIER.

It is surprising how practical duty enriches the fancy and the heart, and
action clears and deepens the affections. Indeed, no one can have a true
idea of right, until he does it; any genuine reverence for it, till he has
done it often and with cost; any peace ineffable in it, till he does it
always and with alacrity. Does any one complain, that the best affections
are transient visitors with him, and the heavenly spirit a stranger to
his heart? Oh, let him not go forth, on any strained wing of thought, in
distant quest of them; but rather stay at home, and set his house in the
true order of conscience; and of their own accord the divinest guests will
enter.

J. MARTINEAU.



September 8


_Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving_.--COL. iv. 2.

_Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong_.--I COR.
xvi. 13.

  We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power.
  Why therefore should we do ourselves this wrong,
  Or others--that we are not always strong,
  That we are ever overborne with care,
  That we should ever weak or heartless be,
  Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
  And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?

R. C. TRENCH.

It is impossible for us to make the duties of our lot minister to our
sanctification without a habit of devout fellowship with God. This is the
spring of all our life, and the strength of it. It is prayer, meditation,
and converse with God, that refreshes, restores, and renews the temper of
our minds, at all times, under all trials, after all conflicts with the
world. By this contact with the world unseen we receive continual accesses
of strength. As our day, so is our strength. Without this healing and
refreshing of spirit, duties grow to be burdens, the events of life chafe
our temper, employments lower the tone of our minds, and we become fretful,
irritable, and impatient.

H. E. MANNING.



September 9


_This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm
constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to
maintain good works_.--TITUS iii. 8.

  Faith's meanest deed more favor bears
    Where hearts and wills are weighed,
  Than brightest transports, choicest prayers,
    Which bloom their hour and fade.

J. H. NEWMAN.

One secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is
worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers, in
which idle people indulge themselves.

J. H. NEWMAN.

It is impossible for us to live in fellowship with God without holiness in
all the duties of life. These things act and react on each other. Without a
diligent and faithful obedience to the calls and claims of others upon us,
our religious profession is simply dead. To disobey conscience when it
points to relative duties irritates the whole temper, and quenches the
first beginnings of devotion. We cannot go from strife, breaches, and angry
words, to God. Selfishness, an imperious will, want of sympathy with
the sufferings and sorrows of other men, neglect of charitable offices,
suspicions, hard censures of those with whom our lot is cast, will
miserably darken our own hearts, and hide the face of God from us.

H. E. MANNING.



September 10


_Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head_.--JOHN xiii. 9.

  Take my hands, and let them move
  At the impulse of Thy love.

  Take my feet, and let them be
  Swift and "beautiful" for Thee.

  Take my intellect, and use
  Every power as Thou shall choose.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

If a man may attain thereunto, to be unto God as his hand is to a man, let
him be therewith content, and not seek further. That is to say, let him
strive and wrestle with all his might to obey God and His commandments so
thoroughly at all times, and in all things, that in him there be nothing,
spiritual or natural, which opposeth God; and that his whole soul and body,
with all their members, may stand ready and willing for that to which God
hath created them; as ready and willing as his hand is to a man, which is
so wholly in his power, that in the twinkling of an eye, he moveth and
turneth it whither he will. And when we find it otherwise with us, we must
give our whole diligence to amend our state.

THEOLOGIA GERMANICA.

When the mind thinks nothing, when the soul covets nothing, and the body
acteth nothing that is contrary to the will of God, this is perfect
sanctification.

ANONYMOUS, _in an old Bible_, 1599.



September 11


_Thy kingdom come_.--MATT. vi. 10.

  The kingdom of established peace,
    Which can no more remove;
  The perfect powers of godliness,
    The omnipotence of love.

C. WESLEY.

My child, thou mayest not measure out thine offering unto me by what others
have done or left undone; but be it thine to seek out, even to the last
moment of thine earthly life, what is the utmost height of pure devotion to
which I have called _thine own self_. Remember that, if thou fall short of
this, each time thou utterest in prayer the words, "Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come," thou dost most fearfully condemn thyself, for is it
not a mockery to ask for that thou wilt not seek to promote even unto the
uttermost, within the narrow compass of thine own heart and spirit?

THE DIVINE MASTER.

If you do not wish for His kingdom, don't pray for it. But if you do, you
must do more than pray for it; you must work for it.

J. RUSKIN.



September 12


_She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not In
the Lord; she drew not near to her God_.--ZEPH. iii. 2.

  Oh! let us not this thought allow;
  The heat, the dust upon our brow,
  Signs of the contest, we may wear;
  Yet thus we shall appear more fair
    In our Almighty Master's eye,
  Than if in fear to lose the bloom,
  Or ruffle the soul's lightest plume,
    We from the strife should fly.

R. C. TRENCH.

If God requires anything of us, we have no right to draw back under the
pretext that we are liable to commit some fault in obeying. It is better
to obey imperfectly than not at all. Perhaps you ought to rebuke some
one dependent on you, but you are silent for fear of giving way to
vehemence;--or you avoid the society of certain persons, because they make
you cross and impatient. How are you to attain self-control, if you shun
all occasions of practising it? Is not such self-choosing a greater fault
than those into which you fear to fall? Aim at a steady mind to do right,
go wherever duty calls you, and believe firmly that God will forgive the
faults that take our weakness by surprise in spite of our sincere desire to
please Him.

JEAN NICOLAS GROU.



September 13


_It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation
of the Lord_.--LAM. iii. 26.

_Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation_.--PS. lxii.
I.

  Not so in haste, my heart;
    Have faith in God, and wait;
  Although He linger long,
    He never comes too late.

ANON.

The true use to be made of all the imperfections of which you are conscious
is neither to justify, nor to condemn them, but to present them before
God, conforming your will to His, and remaining in peace; for peace is the
divine order, in whatever state we may be.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

You will find it less easy to uproot faults, than to choke them by gaining
virtues. Do not think of your faults; still less of others' faults; in
every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong: honor
that; rejoice in it; and, as you can, try to imitate it; and your faults
will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.

J. RUSKIN.



September 14


_Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty
things which thou knowest not_.--JER. xxxiii. 3.

_And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked_.--I KINGS iii.
13.

  No voice of prayer to Thee can rise,
  But swift as light Thy Love replies;
  Not always what we ask, indeed,
  But, O most Kind! what most we need.

H. M. KIMBALL.

If you have any trial which seems intolerable, pray,--pray that it be
relieved or changed. There is no harm in that. We may pray for anything,
not wrong in itself, with perfect freedom, if we do not pray selfishly.
One disabled from duty by sickness may pray for health, that he may do his
work; or one hemmed in by internal impediments may pray for utterance, that
he may serve better the truth and the right. Or, if we have a besetting
sin, we may pray to be delivered from it, in order to serve God and man,
and not be ourselves Satans to mislead and destroy. But the answer to
the prayer may be, as it was to Paul, not the removal of the thorn, but,
instead, a growing insight into its meaning and value. The voice of God in
our soul may show us, as we look up to Him, that His strength is enough to
enable us to bear it.

J. F. CLARKE.



September 15


_Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism
that I am baptized with_?--MARK. x. 38.

  Whate'er my God ordains is right;
    Though I the cup must drink
  That bitter seems to my faint heart,
    I will not fear nor shrink.

S. RODIGAST.

The worst part of martyrdom is not the last agonizing moment; it is the
wearing, daily steadfastness. Men who can make up their minds to hold out
against the torture of an hour have sunk under the weariness and the harass
of small prolonged vexations. And there are many Christians who have the
weight of some deep, incommunicable grief pressing, cold as ice, upon their
hearts. To bear that cheerfully and manfully is to be a martyr. There is
many a Christian bereaved and stricken in the best hopes of life. For such
a one to say quietly, "Father, not as I will, but as Thou wilt," is to be a
martyr. There is many a Christian who feels the irksomeness of the duties
of life, and feels his spirit revolting from them. To get up every morning
with the firm resolve to find pleasure in those duties, and do them well,
and finish the work which God has given us to do, that is to drink Christ's
cup. The humblest occupation has in it materials of discipline for the
highest heaven.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



September 16


_For the whole world before thee is as a little grain of the balance, yea,
as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down upon the earth. But Thou
hast mercy upon all. For Thou lovest all the things that are_.--WISDOM OF
SOLOMON xi. 22-24.

  Oh! Source divine, and Life of all,
    The Fount of Being's fearful sea,
  Thy depth would every heart appal,
    That saw not love supreme in Thee.

J. STERLING.

He showed a little thing, the quantity of a hazel-nut, lying in the palm of
my hand, as meseemed, and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereon with
the eye of my understanding, and thought, "What may this be?" and it was
answered generally thus, "It is all that is made." I marvelled how it might
last; for methought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for littleness.
And I was answered in my understanding, "It lasteth, and ever shall: For
God loveth it. And so hath all thing being by the Love of God." In this
little thing I saw three properties. The first is, that God made it. The
second is, that God loveth it. The third is, that God keepeth it. For this
is the cause which we be not all in ease of heart and soul: for we seek
here rest in this thing which is so little, where no rest is in: and we
know not our God that is all Mighty, all Wise, and all Good, for He is very
rest.

MOTHER JULIANA, 1373.



September 17


_Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever
of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of
man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a
ransom for many_.--MARK x. 43-45.

    A child's kiss
  Set on thy sighing lips, shall make thee glad;
  A poor man served by thee, shall make thee rich;
  A sick man helped by thee, shall make thee strong;
  Thou shalt be served thyself by every sense
  Of service which thou renderest.

E. B. BROWNING.

Let every man lovingly cast all his thoughts and cares, and his sins too,
as it were, on the Will of God. Moreover, if a man, while busy in this
lofty inward work, were called by some duty in the Providence of God to
cease therefrom, and cook a broth for some sick person, or any other such
service, he should do so willingly and with great joy. If I had to forsake
such work, and go out to preach or aught else, I should go cheerfully,
believing not only that God would be with me, but that he would vouchsafe
me it may be even greater grace and blessing in that external work
undertaken out of true love in the service of my neighbor, than I should
perhaps receive in my season of loftiest contemplation.

JOHN TAULER.



September 18


_All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His
covenant and His testimonies_.--PS. xxv. 10.

  Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth,
    Speak peace to my anxious soul,
  And help me to feel that all my ways
    Are under Thy wise control;
  That He who cares for the lily,
    And heeds the sparrows' fall,
  Shall tenderly lead His loving child:
    For He made and loveth all.

ANON.

It is not by seeking more fertile regions where toil is lighter--happier
circumstances free from difficult complications and troublesome people--but
by bringing the high courage of a devout soul, clear in principle and aim,
to bear upon what is given to us, that we brighten our inward light, lead
something of a true life, and introduce the kingdom of heaven into the
midst of our earthly day. If we cannot work out the will of God where God
has placed us, then why has He placed us there?

J. H. THOM.



September 19


_Pray for us unto the Lord thy God... that the Lord thy God may show us the
way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do_.--JER. xlii. 2, 3.

_That which I see not, teach Thou me_.--JOB xxxiv. 32.

    O father, hear!
  The way is dark, and I would fain discern
  What steps to take, into which path to turn;
    Oh! make it clear.

CHRISTIAN INTELLIGENCER.

"We can't choose happiness either for ourselves or for another; we can't
tell where that will lie. We can only choose whether we will indulge
ourselves in the present moment, or whether we will renounce that, for the
sake of obeying the Divine voice within us,--for the sake of being true to
all the motives that sanctify our lives. I know this belief is hard; it has
slipped away from me again and again; but I have felt that if I let it go
forever, I should have no light through the darkness of this life."

GEORGE ELIOT.

There was a care on my mind so to pass my time, that nothing might hinder
me from the most steady attention to the voice of the true Shepherd.

JOHN WOOLMAN.



September 20


_Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of
man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of
tongues_.--PS. xxxi. 20.

  The praying spirit breathe,
    The watching power impart,
  From all entanglements beneath
    Call off my anxious heart.
  My feeble mind sustain,
    By worldly thoughts oppressed;
  Appear, and bid me turn again
    To my eternal rest.

C. WESLEY.

As soon as we are with God in faith and in love, we are in prayer.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

If you could once make up your mind in the fear of God never to undertake
more work of any sort than you can carry on calmly, quietly, without hurry
or flurry, and the instant you feel yourself growing nervous and like one
out of breath, would stop and take breath, you would find this simple
common-sense rule doing for you what no prayers or tears could ever
accomplish.

ELIZABETH PRENTISS.



September 21


_How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men
put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings_.--PS. xxxvi. 7.

_The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting
arms_.--DEUT. xxxiii. 27.

  Within Thy circling arms we lie,
    O God! in Thy infinity:
  Our souls in quiet shall abide,
    Beset with love on every side.

ANON.

"The Everlasting Arms." I think of that whenever rest is sweet. How the
whole earth and the strength of it, that is almightiness, is beneath every
tired creature to give it rest; _holding_ us, always! No thought of God
is closer than that. No human tenderness of patience is greater than
that which gathers in its arms a little child, and holds it, heedless of
weariness. And He fills the great earth, and all upon it, with this
unseen force of His love, that never forgets or exhausts itself, so that
everywhere we may lie down in His bosom, and be comforted.

A. D. T. WHITNEY.



September 22


_The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou
mayest do it_.--DEUT. xxx. 14.

  But, above all, the victory is most sure
  For him, who, seeking faith by virtue, strives
  To yield entire obedience to the Law
  Of Conscience; Conscience reverenced and obeyed,
  As God's most intimate presence in the soul,
  And His most perfect image in the world.

W. WORDSWORTH.

What we call Conscience is the voice of Divine love in the deep of
our being, desiring union with our will; and which, by attracting the
affections inward, invites them to enter into the harmonious contentment,
and "fulness of joy" which attends the being joined by "one spirit to the
Lord."

J. P. GREAVES.

I rejoice that God has bestowed upon you a relish and inclination for the
inner life. To be called to this precious and lofty life is a great
and undeserved grace of God, to which we ought to respond with great
faithfulness. God invites us to His fellowship of love, and wishes to
prepare our spirit to be His own abode and temple.

GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.



September 23


_Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths_--PS. xxv. 4.

  When we cannot see our way,
  Let us trust and still obey;
  He who bids us forward go,
  Cannot fail the way to show.
  Though the sea be deep and wide,
  Though a passage seem denied;
  Fearless let us still proceed,
  Since the Lord vouchsafes to lead.

ANON.

That which is often asked of God, is not so much His will and way, as His
approval of our way.

S. F. SMILEY.

There is nothing like the first glance we get at duty, before there has
been any special pleading of our affections or inclinations. Duty is never
uncertain at first. It is only after we have got involved in the mazes and
sophistries of wishing that things were otherwise than they are, that it
seems indistinct. Considering a duty is often only explaining it away.
Deliberation is often only dishonesty. God's guidance is plain, when we are
true.

F. W, ROBERTSON.



September 24


_When I awake, I am still with Thee_.--PS. cxxxix. 18.

  Let the glow of love destroy
  Cold obedience faintly given;
  Wake our hearts to strength and joy
  With the flushing eastern heaven.

C. K. VON ROSENROTH.

With his first waking consciousness, he can set himself to take a serious,
manly view of the day before him. He ought to know pretty well on what
lines his difficulty is likely to come, whether in being irritable, or
domineering, or sharp in his bargains, or self-absorbed, or whatever it be;
and now, in this quiet hour, he can take a good, full look at his enemy,
and make up his mind to beat him. It is a good time, too, for giving
his thoughts a range quite beyond himself,--beyond even his own moral
struggles,--a good time, there in the stillness, for going into the realm
of other lives. His wife,--what needs has she for help, for sympathy, that
he can meet? His children,--how can he make the day sweeter to them? This
acquaintance, who is having a hard time; this friend, who dropped a word to
you yesterday that you hardly noticed in your hurry, but that comes up to
you now, revealing in him some finer trait, some deeper hunger, than you
had guessed before,--now you can think these things over.

G. S. MERRIAM.



September 25


_Ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your
households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee_.--DEUT. xii. 7.

  Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look
    When hearts are of each other sure;
  Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook,
    The haunt of all affections pure.

J. KEBLE.

Is there any tie which absence has loosened, or which the wear and tear
of every-day intercourse, little uncongenialities, unconfessed
misunderstandings, have fretted into the heart, until it bears something of
the nature of a fetter? Any cup at our home-table whose sweetness we have
not fully tasted, although it might yet make of our daily bread a continual
feast? Let us reckon up these treasures while they are still ours, in
thankfulness to God.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.

We ought daily or weekly to dedicate a little time to the reckoning up of
the virtues of our belongings,--wife, children, friends,--contemplating
them then in a beautiful collection. And we should do so now, that we may
not pardon and love in vain and too late, after the beloved one has been
taken away from us to a better world.

JEAN PAUL RICHTER.



September 26


_Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me_.--PS.
xxiii. 4.

  O will, that wiliest good alone,
    Lead Thou the way, Thou guides! best;
  A silent child, I follow on,
    And trusting lean upon Thy breast.
  And if in gloom I see Thee not,
    I lean upon Thy love unknown;
  In me Thy blessed will is wrought,
    If I will nothing of my own.

GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.

The devout soul is always safe in every state, if it makes everything an
occasion either of rising up, or falling down into the hands of God, and
exercising faith, and trust, and resignation to Him. The pious soul, that
eyes only God, that means nothing but being His alone, can have no stop put
to its progress; light and darkness equally assist him: in the light he
looks up to God, in the darkness he lays hold on God, and so they both do
him the same good.

WM. LAW.



September 27


_When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me_.--MICAH vii. 8.

_There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift Thou up the
light of Thy countenance upon us_.--PS. iv. 6.

  How oft a gleam of glory sent
    Straight through the deepest, darkest night,
  Has filled the soul with heavenly light,
    With holy peace and sweet content.

ANON.

Suppose you are bewildered and know not what is right nor what is true. Can
you not cease to regard whether you do or not, whether you be bewildered,
whether you be happy? Cannot you utterly and perfectly love, and rejoice
to be in the dark, and gloom-beset, because that very thing is the fact of
God's Infinite Being as it is to you? Cannot you take this trial also into
your own heart, and be ignorant, not because you are obliged, but because
that being God's will, it is yours also? Do you not see that a person who
truly loves is one with the Infinite Being--cannot be uncomfortable or
unhappy? It is that which is that he wills and desires and holds best of
all to be. To know God is utterly to sacrifice self.

JAMES HINTON.



September 28


_My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in
deed, and in truth_.--I JOHN iii. 18.

_But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves_.--JAMES i. 22.

  Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayers,
    Whose loves in higher love endure;
    What souls possess themselves so pure,
  Or is there blessedness like theirs?

A. TENNYSON.

Let every creature have your love. Love, with its fruits of meekness,
patience, and humility, is all that we can wish for to ourselves, and our
fellow-creatures; for this is to live in God, united to Him, both for time
and eternity. To desire to communicate good to every creature, in the
degree we can, and it is capable of receiving from us, is a divine temper;
for thus God stands unchangeably disposed towards the whole creation.

WM. LAW.

What shall be our reward for loving our neighbor as ourselves in this life?
That, when we become angels, we shall be enabled to love him better than
ourselves.

E. SWEDENBORG.



September 29


_Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God_.--MATT. v. 8.

_Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see
the Lord_.--HEB. xii. 14.

  Since Thou Thyself dost still display
    Unto the pure in heart,
  Oh, make us children of the day
    To know Thee as Thou art.
  For Thou art light and life and love;
    And Thy redeemed below
  May see Thee as Thy saints above,
    And know Thee as they know.

J. MONTGOMERY.

Doubt, gloom, impatience, have been expelled; joy has taken their place,
the hope of heaven and the harmony of a pure heart, the triumph of
self-mastery, sober thoughts, and a contented mind. How can charity towards
all men fail to follow, being the mere affectionateness of innocence and
peace? Thus the Spirit of God creates in us the simplicity and warmth of
heart which children have, nay, rather the perfections of His heavenly
hosts, high and low being joined together in His mysterious work; for what
are implicit trust, ardent love, abiding purity, but the mind both of
little children and of the adoring seraphim!

J. H. NEWMAN.



September 30


_Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the
truth in his heart_.--PS. xv. 1, 2.

  How happy is he born or taught,
    That serveth not another's will,
  Whose armor is his honest thought,
    And simple truth his utmost skill.

H. WOTTON.

If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason,
seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract
thee, but keeping thy divine part pure as if thou shouldest be bound to
give it back immediately,--if thou boldest to this, expecting nothing,
fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to
nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest,
thou wilt live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



October 1


_Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am
with you, saith the Lord of hosts_.--HAGGAI ii. 4,

  Yet the world is Thy field, Thy garden;
    On earth art Thou still at home.
  When Thou bendest hither Thy hallowing eye,
  My narrow work-room seems vast and high,
  Its dingy ceiling a rainbow-dome,--
  Stand ever thus at my wide-swung door,
    And toil will be toil no more.

L. LARCOM.

The situation that has not its duty, its ideal, was never yet occupied
by man. Yes, here, in this poor, miserable, hampered, despicable Actual,
wherein thou even now standest, here or nowhere is thy Ideal: work it out
therefrom; and working, believe, live, be free. Fool! the Ideal is in
thyself, the impediment too is in thyself: thy condition is but the stuff
thou art to shape that same Ideal out of: what matters whether such stuff
be of this sort or that, so the form thou givest it be heroic, be poetic. O
thou that pinest in the imprisonment of the Actual, and criest bitterly to
the gods for a kingdom wherein to rule and create, know this of a truth:
the thing thou seekest is already with thee, "here or nowhere," couldst
thou only see!

T. CARLYLE.



October 2


_I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress_.--PS. xvii. 3.

_In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth
his lips is wise_.--PROV. x. 19.

  Prune thou thy words; the thoughts control
    That o'er thee swell and throng;
  They will condense within thy soul,
    And change to purpose strong.

J. H. NEWMAN.

Few men suspect how much mere talk fritters away spiritual energy,--that
which should be spent in action, spends itself in words. Hence he who
restrains that love of talk, lays up a fund of spiritual strength.

F. W. ROBERTSON.

Do not flatter yourself that your thoughts are under due control, your
desires properly regulated, or your dispositions subject as they should be
to Christian principle, if your intercourse with others consists mainly of
frivolous gossip, impertinent anecdotes, speculations on the character and
affairs of your neighbors, the repetition of former conversations, or a
discussion of the current petty scandal of society; much less, if you allow
yourself in careless exaggeration on all these points, and that grievous
inattention to exact truth, which is apt to attend the statements of those
whose conversation is made up of these materials.

H. WARE, JR.



October 3


_Judge not, that ye be not judged_.--MATT. vii. 1.

_Why beboldest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest
not the beam that is in thine own eye_?--LUKE vi. 41.

  Judge not; the workings of his brain
    And of his heart thou canst not see;
  What looks to thy dim eyes a stain,
    In God's pure light may only be
  A scar, brought from some well-won field,
  Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.

ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.

When you behold an aspect for whose constant gloom and frown you
cannot account, whose unvarying cloud exasperates you by its apparent
causelessness, be sure that there is a canker somewhere, and a canker not
the less deeply corroding because concealed.

CHARLOTTE BRONTE.

While we are coldly discussing a man's career, sneering at his mistakes,
blaming his rashness, and labelling his opinions--"Evangelical and narrow,"
or "Latitudinarian and Pantheistic," or "Anglican and supercilious"--that
man, in his solitude, is perhaps shedding hot tears because his sacrifice
is a hard one, because strength and patience are failing him to speak the
difficult word, and do the difficult deed.

GEORGE ELIOT.



October 4


_Be strong, and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest_.--JOSH. i. 9.

  By Thine unerring Spirit led,
    We shall not in the desert stray;
  We shall not full direction need,
    Nor miss our providential way;
  As far from danger as from fear,
  While love, almighty love, is near.

CHARLES WESLEY.

Watch your way then, as a cautious traveller; and don't be gazing at that
mountain or river in the distance, and saying, "How shall I ever get over
them?" but keep to the present _little inch_ that is before you, and
accomplish _that_ in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and
the river can only be passed in the same way; and, when you come to them,
you will come to the light and strength that belong to them.

M. A. KELTY.

Let not future things disturb thee, for thou wilt come to them, if it shall
be necessary, having with thee the same reason which thou now usest for
present things.

MARCUS ANTONINUS.



October 5


_Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not_.--ISA. xxxv.
4.

  Why shouldst them fill to-day with sorrow
    About to-morrow,
    My heart?
  One watches all with care most true,
  Doubt not that He will give thee too
    Thy part.

PAUL FLEMMING.

The crosses which we make for ourselves by a restless anxiety as to the
future, are not crosses which come from God. We show want of faith in Him
by our false wisdom, wishing to forestall His arrangements, and struggling
to supplement His Providence by our own providence. The future is not yet
ours; perhaps it never will be. If it comes, it may come wholly different
from what we have foreseen. Let us shut our eyes, then, to that which God
hides from us, and keeps in reserve in the treasures of His deep counsels.
Let us worship without seeing; let us be silent; let us abide in peace.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



October 6


_I had fainted, unless I bad believed to see the goodness of the Lord in
the land of the living_--PS. xxvii. 13.

_I will surely do thee good_.--GEN. xxxii. 12.

  Thou know'st not what is good for thee,
    But God doth know,--
  Let Him thy strong reliance be,
    And rest thee so.

C. F. GELLERT.

Let us be very careful of thinking, on the one hand, that we have no work
assigned us to do, or, on the other hand, that what we have assigned to us
is not the right thing for us. If ever we can say in our hearts to God,
in reference to any daily duty, "This is not my place; I would choose
something dearer; I am capable of something higher;" we are guilty not only
of rebellion, but of blasphemy. It is equivalent to saying, not only, "My
heart revolts against Thy commands," but "Thy commands are unwise; Thine
Almighty guidance is unskilful; Thine omniscient eye has mistaken the
capacities of Thy creature; Thine infinite love is indifferent to the
welfare of Thy child."

ELIZABETH CHARLES.



October 7


_And because ye are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your
hearts, crying, Abba, Father_.--GAL. iv. 6.

    O Lord, forgive my sin,
  And deign to put within
  A calm, obedient heart, a patient mind;
    That I may murmur not,
    Though bitter seem my lot;
  For hearts unthankful can no blessing find.

M. RUTILIUS, 1604.

Resignation to the Divine Will signifies a cheerful approbation and
thankful acceptance of everything that comes from God. It is not enough
patiently to submit, but we must thankfully receive and fully approve of
everything that, by the order of God's providence, happens to us. For there
is no reason why we should be patient, but what is as good and as strong a
reason why we should be thankful. Whenever, therefore, you find yourself
disposed to uneasiness or murmuring at any thing that is the effect of
God's providence over you, you must look upon yourself as denying either
the wisdom or goodness of God.

WM. LAW.



October 8


_Ye shall not go out in haste, for the Lord will go before you; and the God
of Israel will be your rearward_.--ISA. lii. 12. (R. V.).

_He that believeth shall not make haste_.--ISA. xxviii. 16.

  Holy Spirit, Peace divine!
  Still this restless heart of mine;
  Speak to calm this tossing sea,
  Stayed in Thy tranquillity.

S. LONGFELLOW.

In whatever you are called upon to do, endeavor to maintain a calm,
collected, and prayerful state of mind. Self-recollection is of great
importance. "It is good for a man to quietly wait for the salvation of the
Lord." He who is in what may be called a spiritual hurry, or rather who
runs without having evidence of being spiritually sent, makes haste to no
purpose.

T. C. UPHAM.

There is great fret and worry in always running after work; it is not good
intellectually or spiritually.

ANNIE KEARY.

Whenever we are outwardly excited we should cease to act; but whenever we
have a message from the spirit within, we should execute it with calmness.
A fine day may excite one to act, but it is much better that we act from
the calm spirit in any day, be the outward what it may.

J. P. GREAVES.



October 9


_As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord_.--JOSH. xxiv. 15.

  O happy house I and happy servitude!
    Where all alike one Master own;
  Where daily duty, in Thy strength pursued,
    Is never hard or toilsome known;
  Where each one serves Thee, meek and lowly,
    Whatever Thine appointment be,
  Till common tasks seem great and holy,
    When they are done as unto Thee.

C. J. P. SPITTA.

At Dudson there was no rushing after anything, either worldly or
intellectual. It was a home of constant activity, issuing from, and
retiring to, a centre of deep repose. There was an earnest application of
excellent sense to the daily duties of life, to the minutest courtesy and
kindness, as well as to the real interests of others. Everything great and
everything little seemed done in the same spirit, and with the same degree
of fidelity, because it was the will of God; and that which could not
be traced to His will was not undertaken at all. Nothing at Dudson was
esteemed too little to be cared for, and nothing too great to be undertaken
at the command of God; and for this they daily exercised their mental and
bodily powers on the things around them; knowing that our Lord thoroughly
furnishes each of His soldiers for his work, and places before each the
task he has to do.

M. A. SCHIMMELPENNINCK.



October 10


_Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means_.--2
THESS. iii. 16.

_The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His
people with peace_.--PS. xxix. 11.

  In the heart's depths a peace serene and holy
    Abides, and when pain seems to have its will,
  Or we despair,--oh, may that peace rise slowly,
    Stronger than agony, and we be still.

S. JOHNSON.

But if a man ought and is willing to lie still under God's hand, he must
and ought also to lie still under all things, whether they come from God,
himself, or the creatures, nothing excepted. And he who would be obedient,
resigned, and submissive to God, must and ought to be also resigned,
obedient, and submissive to all things, in a spirit of yielding, and not of
resistance; and take them in silence, resting on the hidden foundations of
his soul, and having a secret inward patience, that enableth him to take
all chances or crosses willingly; and, whatever befalleth, neither to call
for nor desire any redress, or deliverance, or resistance, or revenge, but
always in a loving, sincere humility to cry, "Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do!"

THEOLOGIA GERMANICA.



October 11


_And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord_.--NUM. xi. 1.

  When thou hast thanked thy God
    For every blessing sent,
  What time will then remain
    For murmurs or lament?

R. C. TRENCH.

Let him, with a cheerful and thankful spirit, yield himself up to suffer
whatever God shall appoint unto him, and to fulfil, according to his power,
by the grace of God, all His holy will to the utmost that he can discern
it, and never complain of his distresses but to God alone, with entire
and humble resignation, praying that he may be strong to endure all his
sufferings according to the will of God.

JOHN TAULER.

He who complains, or thinks he has a right to complain, because he is
called in God's Providence to suffer, has something within him which needs
to be taken away. A soul whose will is lost in God's will, can never do
this. Sorrow may exist; but complaint never.

CATHERINE ADORNA.



October 12


_Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord_.--EPH. v. 19.

_Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts_.--I PETER iii. 15.

    There are in this loud stunning tide
      Of human care and crime,
    With whom the melodies abide
      Of th' everlasting chime;
    Who carry music in their heart
    Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
  Plying their daily task with busier feet,
  Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

J. KEBLE.

Strive to carry thyself with a total resignation to the Divine Will, that
God may do with thee and all thine according to His heavenly pleasure,
relying on Him as on a kind and loving Father. Never recall that intention,
and though thou be taken up about the affairs of the condition wherein God
hath placed thee, yet thou wilt still be in prayer, in the presence of God,
and in perpetual acts of resignation. "A just man leaves not off to pray
unless he leaves off to be just." He always prays who always does well.
The good desire is prayer, and if the desire be continued so also is the
prayer.

M. DE MOLINOS.



October 13


_We desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope unto the end_.--HEB. vi. 11.

_The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil_.--2
THESS. iii. 3.

  Long though my task may be,
    Cometh the end.
  God't is that helpeth me,
  His is the work, and He
    New strength will lend.

ANON.

Set yourself steadfastly to those duties which have the least attractive
exterior; it matters not whether God's holy will be fulfilled in great or
small matters. Be patient with yourself and your own failings; never be in
a hurry, and do not yield to longings after that which is impossible to
you. My dear sister, go on steadily and quietly; if our dear Lord means you
to run, He will "strengthen your heart."

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

Always begin by doing that which costs me most, unless the easier duty is
a pressing one. Examine, classify, and determine at night the work of
the morrow; arrange things in the order of their importance, and act
accordingly. Dread, above all things, bitterness and irritation. Never say,
or indirectly recall anything to my advantage.

MADAME SWET CHINE,



October 14


_He that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me
love death_.--PROV. viii. 36.

_But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your
fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord_.--ROM. vi. 22, 23.

  O Sovereign Love, to Thee I cry!
  Give me Thyself, or else I die!
  Save me from death; from hell set free!
  Death, hell, are but the want of Thee.
  Quickened by Thy imparted flame,
  Saved when possessed of Thee, I am:
  My life, my only heaven Thou art;
  O might I feel Thee in my heart!

C. WESLEY.

Sin itself is hell, and death, and misery to the soul, as being a departure
from goodness and holiness itself; I mean from God, in conjunction with
whom the happiness, and blessedness, and heaven of a soul doth consist.
Avoid it, therefore, as you would avoid being miserable.

SAMUEL SHAW.

"I could n't live in peace if I put the shadow of a wilful sin between
myself and God."

GEORGE ELIOT.

Unholy tempers are always unhappy tempers.

JOHN WESLEY.



October 15


_Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up;
therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord,
make haste to help me_.--PS. xl. 12, 13.

_Sin shall not have dominion over you_.--ROM. vi. 14.

  O Thou, to whose all-searching sight
  The darkness shineth as the light!
  Search, prove my heart; it pants for Thee;
  Oh, burst these bonds, and set it free!

G. TERSTEEGEN.

Yes, this sin which has sent me weary-hearted to bed and desperate in heart
to morning work, that has made my plans miscarry until I am a coward, that
cuts me off from prayer, that robs the sky of blueness and the earth
of springtime, and the air of freshness, and human faces of
friendliness,--this blasting sin which perhaps has made my bed in hell for
me so long,--this can be conquered. I do not say annihilated, but, better
than that, conquered, captured and transfigured into a friend: so that I
at last shall say, "My temptation has become my strength! for to the very
fight with it I owe my force."

W. C. GANNETT.



October 16


_I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth,
which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant_.--GEN. xxxii. 10.

  Some murmur if their sky is clear,
    And wholly bright to view,
  If one small speck of dark appear
    In their great heaven of blue:
  And some with thankful love are filled,
    If but one streak of light,
  One ray of God's good mercy, gild
    The darkness of their night.

R. C. TRENCH.

Habitual sufferers are precisely those who least frequently doubt the
Divine benevolence, and whose faith and love rise to the serenest
cheerfulness. Possessed by no idea of a prescriptive right to be happy,
their blessings are not benumbed by anticipation, but come to them fresh
and brilliant as the first day's morning and evening light to the dwellers
in Paradise. With the happy it is their constant peace that seems to come
by nature, and to be blunted by its commonness,--and their griefs to come
from God, sharpened by their sacred origin; with the sufferer, it is his
pain that appears to be a thing of course, and to require no explanation,
while his relief is reverently welcomed as a divine interposition, and, as
a breath of Heaven, caresses the heart into melodies of praise.

J. MARTINEAU.



October 17


_Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as
in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than
sacrifice_.--I SAM. XV. 22.

_Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will
show to you to-day_--EX. xiv. 13.

  The folded hands seem idle:
    If folded at His word,
  'Tis a holy service, trust me,
    In obedience to the Lord.

ANNA SHIPTON.

It is not the multitude of hard duties, it is not constraint and contention
that advance us in our Christian course. On the contrary, it is the
yielding of our wills without restriction and without choice, to tread
cheerfully every day in the path in which Providence leads us, to seek
nothing, to be discouraged by nothing, to see our duty in the present
moment, to trust all else without reserve to the will and power of God.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

Godliness is the devotion of the soul to God, as to a living person whose
will is to be its law, whose love is to be its life. It is the habit of
living before the face of God, and not the simply doing certain things.

J. B. BROWN.



October 18


_Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the
scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of
heaven_.--MATT. v. 20.

  The freedom from all wilful sin,
    The Christian's daily task,--
  Oh these are graces far below
    What longing love would ask!
  Dole not thy duties out to God.

F. W. FABER.

You perhaps will say that all people fall short of the perfection of the
Gospel, and therefore you are content with your failings. But this is
saying nothing to the purpose: for the question is not whether Gospel
perfection can be fully attained, but whether you come as near it as a
sincere intention and careful diligence can carry you. Whether you are
not in a much lower state than you might be if you sincerely intended and
carefully labored to advance yourself in all Christian virtues.

WM. LAW.

We know not exactly how low the least degree of obedience is, which will
bring a man to heaven; but this we are quite sure of, that he who aims
no higher will be sure to fall short even of that, and that he who goes
farthest beyond it will be most blessed.

JOHN KEBLE.



October 19


_Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord
thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that
thou shouldest go_.--ISA. xlviii. 17.

  I seek Thy aid, I ask direction,
    Teach me to do what pleaseth Thee;
  I can bear toil, endure affliction,
    Only Thy leadings let me see.

ANON.

Of all paths a man could strike into, there is, at any given moment, a
_best path_ for every man; a thing which, here and now, it were of all
things _wisest_ for him to do; which could he but be led or driven to do,
he were then doing "like a man," as we phrase it. His success, in such
case, were complete, his felicity a maximum. This path, to find this path,
and walk in it, is the one thing needful for him.

T. CARLYLE.

Every man has his own vocation. There is one direction in which all space
is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless
exertion. He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on
every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he
sweeps serenely over a deepening channel into an infinite sea.

R. W. EMERSON.



October 20


_Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good_.--ROM. xii. 21.

  Come, in this accepted hour;
    Bring Thy heavenly kingdom in;
  Fill us with Thy glorious power,
    Rooting out the seeds of sin.

C. WESLEY.

If we wish to overcome evil, we must overcome it by good. There are
doubtless many ways of overcoming the evil in our own hearts, but the
simplest, easiest, most universal, is to overcome it by active occupation
in some good word or work. The best antidote against evil of all kinds,
against the evil thoughts which haunt the soul, against the needless
perplexities which distract the conscience, is to keep hold of the good we
have. Impure thoughts will not stand against pure words, and prayers, and
deeds. Little doubts will not avail against great certainties. Fix your
affections on things above, and then you will be less and less troubled by
the cares, the temptations, the troubles of things on earth.

A. P. STANLEY.



October 21


_I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect_.--GEN. xvii.
I.

_Consecrate yourselves to-day to the Lord_.--EX. xxxii. 29.

  Take my life, and let it be
  Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

  Take my moments and my days;
  Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

I have noticed that wherever there has been a faithful following of the
Lord in a consecrated soul, several things have inevitably followed,
sooner or later. Meekness and quietness of spirit become in time the
characteristics of the daily life. A submissive acceptance of the will of
God as it comes in the hourly events of each day; pliability in the hands
of God to do or to suffer all the good pleasure of His will; sweetness
under provocation; calmness in the midst of turmoil and bustle;
yieldingness to the wishes of others, and an insensibility to slights and
affronts; absence of worry or anxiety; deliverance from care and fear;--all
these, and many similar graces, are invariably found to be the natural
outward development of that inward life which is hid with Christ in God.

H. W. SMITH.



October 22


_Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my
will, but Thine, be done_.--LUKE xxii. 42.

  Just as Thou wilt is just what I would will;
  Give me but this, the heart to be content,
  And, if my wish is thwarted, to lie still,
  Waiting till puzzle and till pain are spent,
  And the sweet thing made plain which the Lord meant.

SUSAN COOLIDGE.

Let your will be one with His will, and be glad to be disposed of by Him.
He will order all things for you. What can cross your will, when it is one
with His will, on which all creation hangs, round which all things revolve?
Keep your hearts clear of evil thoughts; for as evil choices estrange the
will from His will, so evil thoughts cloud the soul, and hide Him from
us. Whatever sets us in opposition to Him makes our will an intolerable
torment. So long as we will one thing and He another, we go on piercing
ourselves through and through with a perpetual wound; and His will advances
moving on in sanctity and majesty, crushing ours into the dust.

H. E. MANNING.



October 23


_Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: Thy spirit is good; lead me
into the land of uprightness_.--PS. cxliii. 10.

  The battle of our life is won,
    And heaven begun,
  When we can say, "Thy will be done!"
    But, Lord, until
  These restless hearts in Thy deep love are still,
  We pray Thee, "Teach us how to do Thy will!"

LUCY LARCOM.

"You are seeking your own will, my daughter. You are seeking some good
other than the law you are bound to obey. But how will you find good? It
is not a thing of choice; it is a river that flows from the foot of the
Invisible Throne, and flows by the path of obedience. I say again, man
cannot choose his duties. You may choose to forsake your duties, and
choose not to have the sorrow they bring. But you will go forth, and what
will you find, my daughter? Sorrow without duty--bitter herbs, and no
bread with them."

GEORGE ELIOT.

However dark and profitless, however painful and weary, existence may have
become, life is not done, and our Christian character is not won, so long
as God has anything left for us to suffer, or anything left for us to do.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



October 24


_The Lord is my strength, and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I
am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I
praise Him_.--PS. xxviii. 7.

  Well may Thy happy children cease
    From restless wishes, prone to sin,
  And, in Thy own exceeding peace,
    Yield to Thy daily discipline.

A. L. WARING.

Talk of hair-cloth shirts, and scourgings, and sleeping on ashes, as means
of saintship! There is no need of them in our country. Let a woman
once look at her domestic trials as her hair-cloth, her ashes, her
scourges,--accept them,--rejoice in them,--smile and be quiet, silent,
patient, and loving under them,--and the convent can teach her no more; she
is a victorious saint.

H. B. STOWE.

Perhaps it is a greater energy of Divine Providence, which keeps the
Christian from day to day, from year to year--praying, hoping, running,
believing--against all hindrances--which maintains him as a _living
martyr_, than that which bears him up for an hour in sacrificing himself at
the stake.

R. CECIL.



October 25


_For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord_.--ROM. viii. 38,
39.

  I know not what the future hath
    Of marvel or surprise,
  Assured alone that life and death
    His mercy underlies.

J. G. WHITTIER.

Be of good faith, my dear Friends, look not out at any thing; fear none of
those things ye may be exposed to suffer, either outwardly or inwardly; but
trust the Lord over all, and your life will spring, and grow, and refresh
you, and ye will learn obedience and faithfulness daily more and more, even
by your exercises and sufferings; yea, the Lord will teach you the very
mystery of faith and obedience; the wisdom, power, love, and goodness of
the Lord ordering _every_ thing for you, and ordering _your_ hearts in
every thing.

I. PENINGTON.



October 26


_Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope_.--ZECH. ix. 12.

  O power to do; O baffled will!
    O prayer and action! ye are one.
  Who may not strive, may yet fulfil
  The harder task of standing still,
    And good but wished with God is done.

J. G. WHITTIER.

That God has circumscribed our life may add a peculiar element of trial,
but often it defines our way and cuts off many tempting possibilities that
perplex the free and the strong; whilst it leaves intact the whole body
of spiritual reality, with the Beatitude thereon, "that if we know these
things, happy are we if we do them." We know that God orders the lot; and
to meet it with the energies it requires and permits, neither more nor
less,--to fill it at every available point with the light and action of an
earnest and spiritually inventive mind, though its scene be no wider than
a sick chamber, and its action narrowed to patient suffering, and gentle,
cheerful words, and all the light it can emit the thankful quiet of a
trustful eye,--without chafing as though God had misjudged our sphere, and
placed us wrong, and did not know where we could best serve Him,--this is
what, in that condition, we _have to do_.

J. H. THOM.



October 27


_Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then
am I strong_.--2 COR. xii. 10.

  Whatever God does is well!
  In patience let us wait;
  He doth Himself our burdens bear,
    He doth for us take care,
  And He, our God, knows all our weary days.
    Come, give Him praise.

B. SCHMOLCK.

Nothing else but this seeing God in everything will make us loving and
patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only
the instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes towards us,
and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the
blessings they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all
murmuring or rebelling thoughts.

H. W. SMITH.

The subjection of the will is accomplished by calmly resigning thyself in
everything that internally or externally vexes thee; for it is thus only
that the soul is prepared for the reception of divine influences. Prepare
the, heart like clean paper, and the Divine Wisdom will imprint on it
characters to His own liking.

M. DE MOLINOS.



October 28


_I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of
peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end_.--JER. xxix. 11.

  Thy thoughts are good, and Thou art kind,
    E'en when we think it not;
  How many an anxious, faithless mind
    Sits grieving o'er its lot,
  And frets, and pines by day and night,
  As God had lost it out of sight,
    And all its wants forgot.

P. GERHARDT.

You are never to complain of your birth, your training, your employments,
your hardships; never to fancy that you could be something if only you had
a different lot and sphere assigned you. God understands His own plan, and
He knows what you want a great deal better than you do. The very things
that you most deprecate, as fatal limitations or obstructions, are probably
what you most want. What you call hindrances, obstacles, discouragements,
are probably God's opportunities. Bring down your soul, or, rather, bring
it up to receive God's will and do His work, in your lot, in your sphere,
under your cloud of obscurity, against your temptations, and then you
shall find that your condition is never opposed to your good, but really
consistent with it.

H. BUSHNELL.



October 29


_Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in
the furnace of affliction_--ISA. xlviii. 10.

  Be patient, suffering soul! I hear thy cry.
  The trial fires may glow, but I am nigh.
    I see the silver, and I will refine
    Until My image shall upon it shine.
  Fear not, for I am near, thy help to be;
  Greater than all thy pain, My love for thee.

H. W. C.

God takes a thousand times more pains with us than the artist with his
picture, by many touches of sorrow, and by many colors of circumstance, to
bring man into the form which is the highest and noblest in His sight, if
only we received His gifts and myrrh in the right spirit. But when the cup
is put away, and these feelings are stifled or unheeded, a greater injury
is done to the soul than can ever be amended. For no heart can conceive in
what surpassing love God giveth us this myrrh; yet this which we ought
to receive to our soul's good, we suffer to pass by us in our sleepy
indifference, and nothing comes, of it. Then we come and complain: "Alas,
Lord! I am so dry, and it is so dark within me!" I tell thee, dear child,
open thy heart to the pain, and it will do thee more good than if thou wert
full of feeling and devoutness.

J. TAULER.



October 30


_That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which
dwelleth in us_.--2 TIM. i. 14.

  Oh that the Comforter would come!
    Nor visit as a transient guest,
  But fix in me His constant home,
    And keep possession of my breast:
  And make my soul His loved abode,
  The temple of indwelling God!

C. WESLEY.

Thy spirit should become, while yet on earth, the peaceful throne of the
Divine Being; think, then, how quiet, how gentle and pure, how reverent,
thou shouldst be.

GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.

I cannot tell you how much I love you. But that which of all things I have
most at heart, with regard to you, is the real progress of your soul in the
divine life. Heaven seems to be awakened in you. It is a tender plant. It
requires stillness, meekness, and the unity of the heart, totally given up
to the unknown workings of the Spirit of God, which will do all its work in
the calm soul, that has no hunger or desire but to escape out of the mire
of its earthly life into its lost union and life in God. I mention this,
out of a fear of your giving in to an eagerness about many things, which,
though seemingly innocent, yet divide and weaken the workings of the divine
life within you.

WM. LAW.



October 31


_And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him_.--GEN. v. 24.

  Oh for a closer walk with God,
    A calm and heavenly frame;
  A light to shine upon the road
    That leads me to the Lamb!

W. COWPER.

Is it possible for any of us in these modern days to so live that we may
walk with God? Can we walk with God in the shop, in the office, in the
household, and on the street? When men exasperate us, and work wearies us,
and the children fret, and the servants annoy, and our best-laid plans fall
to pieces, and our castles in the air are dissipated like bubbles that
break at a breath, then can we walk with God? That religion which fails us
in the every-day trials and experiences of life has somewhere in it a flaw.
It should be more than a plank to sustain us in the rushing tide, and land
us exhausted and dripping on the other side. It ought, if it come from
above, to be always, day by day, to our souls as the wings of a bird,
bearing us away from and beyond the impediments which seek to hold us down.
If the Divine Love be a conscious presence, an indwelling force with us, it
will do this.

CHRISTIAN UNION.



November 1


_Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named_.--EPH. iii. 15.

  One family, we dwell in Him;
    One church above, beneath;
  Though now divided by the stream,--
    The narrow stream of death.

  One army of the living God,
    To His command we bow:
  Part of His host has crossed the flood,
    And part is crossing now.

C. WESLEY.

Let us, then, learn that we can never be lonely or forsaken in this life.
Shall they forget us because they are "made perfect"? Shall they love us
the less because they now have power to love us more? If we forget them
not, shall they not remember us with God? No trial, then, can isolate us,
no sorrow can cut us off from the Communion of Saints. Kneel down, and you
are with them; lift up your eyes, and the heavenly world, high above all
perturbation, hangs serenely overhead; only a thin veil, it may be, floats
between. All whom we loved, and all who loved us, whom we still love no
less, while they love us yet more, are ever near, because ever in His
presence in whom we live and dwell.

H. E. MANNING.



November 2


_Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before
us_.--HEB. xii. i.

  When the powers of hell prevail
    O'er our weakness and unfitness,
  Could we lift the fleshly veil,
    Could we for a moment witness
  Those unnumbered hosts that stand
  Calm and bright on either hand;

  Oh, what joyful hope would cheer,
    Oh, what faith serene would guide us!
  Great may be the danger near,
    Greater are the friends beside us.

ANON.

We are compassed about by a cloud of witnesses, whose hearts throb in
sympathy with every effort and struggle, and who thrill with joy at every
success. How should this thought check and rebuke every worldly feeling
and unworthy purpose, and enshrine us, in the midst of a forgetful and
un-spiritual world, with an atmosphere of heavenly peace! They have
overcome--have risen--are crowned, glorified; but still they remain to us,
our assistants, our comforters, and in every hour of darkness their voice
speaks to us: "So we grieved, so we struggled, so we fainted, so we
doubted; but we have overcome, we have obtained, we have seen, we have
found,--and in our victory behold the certainty of thy own."

H. B. STOWE.



November 3


_Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for
we are members one of another_.--EPH. iv. 25.

  In conversation be sincere;
  Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
  Think how All-seeing God thy ways
  And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

THOMAS KEN.

The essence of lying is in deception, not in words; a lie may be told by
silence, by equivocation, by the accent on a syllable, by a glance of the
eye attaching a peculiar significance to a sentence; and all these kinds of
lies are worse and baser by many degrees than a lie plainly worded; so that
no form of blinded conscience is so far sunk as that which comforts itself
for having deceived because the deception was by gesture or silence,
instead of utterance.

J. RUSKIN.

He that is habituated to deceptions and artificialities in trifles, will
try in vain to be true in matters of importance; for truth is a thing of
habit rather than of will. You cannot in any given case by any sudden
and single effort will to be true, if the habit of your life has been
insincerity.

F. W. ROBERTSON.



November 4


_A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up
anger_.--PROV. xv. i,

_Doest thou well to be angry_?--JONAH iv. 4.

  Renew Thine image, Lord, in me,
  Lowly and gentle may I be;
    No charms but these to Thee are dear;
  No anger mayst Thou ever find,
  No pride in my unruffled mind,
    But faith, and heaven-born peace be there.

P. GERHARDT.

Neither say nor do aught displeasing to thy neighbor; and if thou hast been
wanting in charity, seek his forgiveness, or speak to him with gentleness.
Speak always with mildness and in a low tone of voice.

L. SCUPOLI.

Injuries hurt not more in the receiving than in the remembrance. A small
injury shall go as it comes; a great injury may dine or sup with me; but
none at all shall lodge with me. Why should I vex myself because another
hath vexed me? Grief for things past that cannot be remedied, and care for
things to come that cannot be prevented, may easily hurt, can never benefit
me. I will therefore commit myself to God in both, and enjoy the present.

JOSEPH HALL.



November 5


_The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are_.--I COR. iii. 17.

  Now shed Thy mighty influence abroad
  On souls that would their Father's image bear;
  Make us as holy temples of our God,
  Where dwells forever calm, adoring prayer.

C. J. P. SPITTA.

This pearl of eternity is the church or temple of God within thee, the
consecrated place of divine worship, where alone thou canst worship God
in spirit and in truth. When once thou art well grounded in this inward
worship, thou wilt have learned to live unto God above time and place. For
every day will be Sunday to thee, and, wherever thou goest, thou wilt have
a priest, a church, and an altar along with thee. For when God has all that
He should have of thy heart, when thou art wholly given up to the obedience
of the light and spirit of God within thee, to will only in His will, to
love only in His love, to be wise only in His wisdom, then it is that
everything thou dost is as a song of praise, and the common business of thy
life is a conforming to God's will on earth as angels do in heaven.

WM. LAW.



November 6


_He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their
cry, and will save them_;--PS. cxlv. 19.

_Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of
thine heart_.--PS. xxxvii. 4.

  Though to-day may not fulfil
  All thy hopes, have patience still;
  For perchance to-morrow's sun
  Sees thy happier days begun.

P. GERHARDT.

His great desire and delight is God; and by desiring and delighting, he
hath Him. _Delight thou in the Lord, and He shall give thee thy heart's
desire,_--HIMSELF; and then surely thou shall have all. Any other thing
_commit it to Him_, and He shall bring it to pass.

R. LEIGHTON.

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly
be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not
in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask; yet they
will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.

MARTIN LUTHER.



November 7


_I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision_.--ACTS xxvi. 19.

_The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey_.--JOSH. xxiv.
24.

  I will shun no toil or woe,
  Where Thou leadest I will go,
    Be my pathway plain or rough;
  If but every hour may be
  Spent in work that pleases Thee,
    Ah, dear Lord, it is enough!

G. TERSTEEGEN.

All these longings and doubts, and this inward distress, are the voice of
the Good Shepherd in your heart, seeking to call you out of all that is
contrary to His will. Oh, let me entreat of you not to turn away from His
gentle pleadings.

H. W. SMITH.

The fear of man brings a snare. By halting in our duty and giving back in
the time of trial, our hands grow weaker, our ears grow dull as to hearing
the language of the true Shepherd; so that when we look at the way of the
righteous, it seems as though it was not for us to follow them.

J. WOOLMAN.



November 8


_Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God_.--HEB. x. 9.

_Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God_.--PS. cxliii. 10.

  Lo! I come with joy to do
    The Father's blessed will;
  Him in outward works pursue,
    And serve His pleasure still.
  Faithful to my Lord's commands,
    I still would choose the better part;
  Serve with careful Martha's hands,
    And loving Mary's heart.

C. WESLEY.

A soul cannot be regarded as truly subdued and consecrated in its will,
and as having passed into union with the Divine will, until it has a
disposition to do promptly and faithfully all that God requires, as well as
to endure patiently and thankfully all that He imposes.

T. C. UPHAM.

When we have learned to offer up every duty connected with our situation
in life as a sacrifice to God, a settled employment becomes just a settled
habit of prayer.

THOMAS ERSKINE.

"_Do the duty which lies nearest thee_," which thou knowest to be a duty.
Thy second duty will already have become clearer.

T. CARLYLE.



November 9


_Say not thou, I will hide myself from the Lord: shall any remember me from
above? I shall not be remembered among so many people: for what is my soul
among such an infinite number of creatures_?--ECCLESIASTICUS xvi. 17.

  Among so many, can He care?
  Can special love be everywhere?
  A myriad homes,--a myriad ways,--
  And God's eye over every place?

  I asked: my soul bethought of this;--
  In just that very place of His
  Where He hath put and keepeth you,
  God hath no other thing to do!

A. D. T. WHITNEY.

Give free and bold play to those instincts of the heart which believe that
the Creator must care for the creatures He has made, and that the only real
effective care for them must be that which takes each of them into His
love, and knowing it separately surrounds it with His separate sympathy.
There is not one life which the Life-giver ever loses out of His sight; not
one which sins so that He casts it away; not one which is not so near to
Him that whatever touches it touches Him with sorrow or with joy.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.



November 10


_In Him we live, and move, and have our being_.--ACTS xvii. 28.

_Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy
presence_?--PS. cxxxix. 7.

  Yea! In Thy life our little lives are ended,
    Into Thy depths our trembling spirits fall;
  In Thee enfolded, gathered, comprehended,
    As holds the sea her waves--Thou hold'st us all.

E. SCUDDER.

Where then is _our_ God? You say, He is _everywhere:_ then show me
_anywhere_ that you have met Him. You declare Him _everlasting:_ then tell
me _any moment_ that He has been with you. You believe Him ready to succor
them that are tempted, and to lift those that are bowed down: then in what
passionate hour did you subside into His calm grace? in what sorrow lose
yourself in His "more exceeding" joy? These are the testing questions by
which we may learn whether we too have raised our altar to an "unknown God"
and pay the worship of the blind; or whether we commune with Him "in whom
we live, and move, and have our being."

J. MARTINEAU.



November 11


_Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good
work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might,
according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with
joyfulness_.--COL. i. 10, ii.

  To be the thing we seem,
  To do the thing we deem
    Enjoined by duty;
  To walk in faith, nor dream
  Of questioning God's scheme
    Of truth and beauty.

ANON.

To shape the whole Future is not our problem; but only to shape faithfully
a small part of it, according to rules already known. It is perhaps
possible for each of us, who will with due earnestness inquire, to
ascertain clearly what he, for his own part, ought to do; this let him,
with true heart, do, and continue doing. The general issue will, as it has
always done, rest well with a Higher Intelligence than ours. This day thou
knowest ten commanded duties, seest in thy mind ten things which should be
done for one that thou doest! _Do_ one of them; this of itself will show
thee ten others which can and shall be done.

T. CARLYLE.



November 12


_I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night
cometh, when no man can work_.--JOHN ix. 4.

_Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task_?--EX. v. 14.

    He who intermits
  The appointed task and duties of the day
  Untunes full oft the pleasures of the day;
  Checking the finer spirits that refuse
  To flow, when purposes are lightly changed.

W. WORDSWORTH.

By putting off things beyond their proper times, one duty treads upon the
heels of another, and all duties are felt as irksome obligations,--a yoke
beneath which we fret and lose our peace. In most cases the consequence of
this is, that we have no time to do the work as it ought to be done. It is
therefore done precipitately, with eagerness, with a greater desire simply
to get it done, than to do it well, and with very little thought of God
throughout.

F. W. FABER.

Sufficient for each day is the _good_ thereof, equally as the evil. We must
do at once, and with our might, the merciful deed that our hand findeth to
do,--else it will never be done, for the hand will find other tasks, and
the arrears fall through. And every unconsummated good feeling, every
unfulfilled purpose that His spirit has prompted, shall one day charge us
as faithless and recreant before God.

J. H. THOM.



November 13


_Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of
Thy law_.--PS. xciv

_Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it_.--JER. x. 19.

  Hold in thy murmurs, heaven arraigning!
    The patient see God's loving face;
  Who bear their burdens uncomplaining,
    'Tis they that win the Father's grace.

ANON.

Do not run to this and that for comfort when you are in trouble, but bear
it. Be uncomfortably quiet--be uneasily silent--be patiently unhappy.

J.P. GREAVES.

Hard words _will_ vex, unkindness _will_ pierce; neglect _will_ wound;
threatened evils _will_ make the soul quiver; sharp pain or weariness
_will_ rack the body, or make it restless. But what says the Psalmist?
"When my heart is vexed, I will complain." To whom? Not _of_ God, but _to_
God.

E.B. PUSEY.

Surely, I have thought, I do not want to have a grief which would not be
a grief. I feel that I shall be able to take up my cross in a religious
spirit soon, and then it will be all right.

JAMES HINTON.



November 14


_Thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel,
thou shalt not be forgotten of me_.--ISA. xliv. 21.

  Oh, give Thy servant patience to be still,
      And bear Thy will;
  Courage to venture wholly on the arm
      That will not harm;
  The wisdom that will never let me stray
      Out of my way;
  The love, that, now afflicting, knoweth best
      When I should rest.

J. M. NEALE.

Supposing that you were never to be set free from such trials, what would
you do? You would say to God, "I am Thine--if my trials are acceptable to
Thee, give me more and more." I have full confidence that this is what you
would say, and then you would not think more of it--at any rate, you would
not be anxious. Well, do the same now. Make friends with your trials, as
though you were always to live together; and you will see that when you
cease to take thought for your own deliverance, God will take thought for
you; and when you cease to help yourself eagerly, He will help you.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

Ah, if you knew what peace there is in an accepted sorrow!

MADAME GUYON.



November 15


_Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I
will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with
the right hand of my righteousness_.--ISA. xli. 10.

  Lord, be Thou near and cheer my lonely way;
    With Thy sweet peace my aching bosom fill;
  Scatter my cares and fears; my griefs allay,
      And be it mine each day
      To love and please Thee still.

P. CORNEILLE.

What if the wicked nature, which is as a sea casting out mire and dirt,
rage against thee? There is a river, a sweet, still, flowing river, the
streams whereof will make glad thy heart. And, learn but in quietness and
stillness to retire to the Lord, and wait upon Him; in whom thou shall feel
peace and joy, in the midst of thy trouble from the cruel and vexatious
spirit of this world. So, wait to know thy work and service to the Lord
every day, in thy place and station; and the Lord make thee faithful
therein, and thou wilt want neither help, support, nor comfort.

I. PENINGTON.



November 16


_Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because
he trusteth in Thee_.--ISA. xxvi. 3.

  What comforts, Lord, to those are given,
    Who seek in Thee their home and rest!
  They find on earth an opening heaven,
    And in Thy peace are amply blest.

W. C. DESSLER.

God is a tranquil Being, and abides in a tranquil eternity. So must thy
spirit become a tranquil and clear little pool, wherein the serene light
of God can be mirrored. Therefore shun all that is disquieting and
distracting, both within and without. Nothing in the whole world is worth
the loss of thy peace; even the faults which thou hast committed should
only humble, but not disquiet thee. God is full of joy, peace, and
happiness. Endeavor then to obtain a continually joyful and peaceful
spirit. Avoid all anxious care, vexation, murmuring, and melancholy, which
darken thy soul, and render thee unfit for the friendship of God. If thou
dost perceive such feelings arising, turn gently away from them.

G. TERSTEEGEN.



November 17


_Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and
ever_.--PS. cxlv. 2.

_Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be
established_.--PROV. xvi. 3.

  Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
  Disperse my sins as morning dew;
  Guard my first springs of thought and will,
  And with Thyself my spirit fill.

THOMAS KEN.

Morning by morning think, for a few moments, of the chief employments of
the day, any one thing of greater moment than others, thine own especial
trial, any occasions of it which are likely to come that day, and by one
short strong act commend thyself beforehand in all to God; offer all thy
thoughts, words, and deeds to Him--to be governed, guided, accepted by Him.
Choose some great occasions of the day, such as bring with them most trial
to thee, on which, above others, to commend thyself to God.

E. B. PUSEY.

Will you not, before venturing away from your early quiet hour, "commit thy
works" to Him definitely, the special things you have to do to-day, and the
unforeseen work which He may add in the course of it?

F. R. HAVERGAL.



November 18


_Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He bath given
us of His Spirit_.--I JOHN iv. 13.

    Within! within, oh turn
    Thy spirit's eyes, and learn
  Thy wandering senses gently to control;
  Thy dearest Friend dwells deep within thy soul,
    And asks thyself of thee,
  That heart, and mind, and sense, He may make whole
    In perfect harmony.

G. TERSTEEGEN.

Wait patiently, trust humbly, depend only upon, seek solely to a God of
Light and Love, of Mercy and Goodness, of Glory and Majesty, ever dwelling
in the inmost depth and spirit of your soul. There you have all the secret,
hidden, invisible Upholder of all the creation, whose blessed operation
will always be found by a humble, faithful, loving, calm, patient
introversion of your heart to Him, who has His hidden heaven within you,
and which will open itself to you, as soon as your heart is left wholly to
His eternal, ever-speaking Word, and ever-sanctifying Spirit within you.
Beware of all eagerness and activity of your own natural spirit and temper.
Run not in any hasty ways of your own. Be patient under the sense of your
own vanity and weakness; and patiently wait for God to do His own work, and
in His own way.

WM. LAW.



November 19


_If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue,
but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain_.--JAMES i. 26.

_I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue_.--PS.
xxxix. I.

  No sinful word, nor deed of wrong,
    Nor thoughts that idly rove;
  But simple truth be on our tongue,
    And in our hearts be love.

ST. AMBROSE.

Let us all resolve,--First, to attain the grace of SILENCE; Second, to deem
all FAULT-FINDING that does no good a SIN, and to resolve, when we are
happy ourselves, not to poison the atmosphere for our neighbors by calling
on them to remark every painful and disagreeable feature of their daily
life; Third, to practise the grace and virtue of PRAISE.

HARRIET B. STOWE.

Surrounded by those who constantly exhibit defects of character and
conduct, if we yield to a complaining and impatient spirit, we shall mar
our own peace without having the satisfaction of benefiting others.

T. C. UPHAM.



November 20


_Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the--will of God, ye
might receive the promise_.--HEB. x. 36.

    Sweet Patience, come:
  Not from a low and earthly source,--
  Waiting, till things shall have their course,--
  Not as accepting present pain
  In hope of some hereafter gain,--
  Not in a dull and sullen calm,--
  But as a breath of heavenly balm,
  Bidding my weary heart submit
  To bear whatever God sees fit:
    Sweet Patience, come!

HYMNS OF THE CHURCH MILITANT.

Patience endues her scholars with content of mind, and evenness of temper,
preventing all repining grumbling, and impatient desires, and inordinate
affections; disappointments here are no crosses, and all anxious thoughts
are disarmed of their sting; in her habitations dwell quietness,
submission, and long-suffering, all fierce turbulent inclinations are
hereby allayed. The eyes of the patient fixedly wait the inward power of
God's providence, and they are thereby mightily enabled towards their
salvation and preservation.

THOMAS TRYON.



November 21


_Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out
of the mouth of God_.--MATT. iv. 4.

_A man's life conisteth not in the abundance of the things which he
possesseth_.--LUKE xii. 15.

  Whate'er God does is well,
  Whether He gives or takes!
  And what we from His hand receive
    Suffices us to live.
  He takes and gives, while yet He loves us still;
    Then love His will.

B. SCHMOLCK.

Is that beast better, that hath two or three mountains to graze on, than
a little bee, that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every
morning from the storehouse of heaven, clouds, and providence?

JEREMY TAYLOR.

For myself I am certain that the good of human life cannot lie in the
possession of things which for one man to possess is for the rest to lose,
but rather in things which all can possess alike, and where one man's
wealth promotes his neighbor's.

B. SPINOZA.

Every lot is happy to a person who bears it with tranquillity.

BOETHIUS.



November 22


_Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of_.--MATT. vi. 8.

_Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you_.--MATT. vi. 33.

  Thy kingdom come, with power and grace,
    To every heart of man;
  Thy peace, and joy, and righteousness
    In all our bosoms reign.

C. WESLEY.

God bids us, then, by past mercies, by present grace, by fears of coming
ill, by hopes in His goodness, earnestly, with our whole hearts, seek Him
and His righteousness, and all these things, all ye need for soul and body,
peace, comfort, joy, the overflowing of His consolations, shall be added
over and above to you.

E. B. PUSEY.

Grant us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, always to seek Thy kingdom and
righteousness, and of whatsoever Thou seest us to stand in need, mercifully
grant us an abundant portion. Amen.

Be content to be a child, and let the Father proportion out daily to thee
what light, what power, what exercises, what straits, what fears, what
troubles He sees fit for thee.

I. PENINGTON.



November 23


_I have taught thee In the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right
paths_.--PROV. iv. 11.

  We know not what the path may be
    As yet by us untrod;
  But we can trust our all to Thee,
    Our Father and our God.

WM. J. IRONS.

We have very little command over the circumstances in which we may be
called by God to bear our part--unlimited command over the temper of our
souls, but next to no command over the outward forms of trial. The most
energetic will cannot order the events by which our spirits are to be
perilled and tested. Powers quite beyond our reach--death, accident,
fortune, another's sin--may change in a moment all the conditions of our
life. With to-morrow's sun existence may have new and awful aspects for any
of us.

J. H. THOM.

Oh, my friend, look not _out_ at what stands in the way; what if it look
dreadfully as a lion, is not the Lord stronger than the mountains of prey?
but look _in_, where the law of life is written, and the will of the Lord
revealed, that thou mayest know what is the Lord's will concerning thee.

I. PENINGTON.



November 24


_Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope
in the Lord_.--PS. xxxi. 24.

_Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid_.--JOHN xiv. 27.

  In heavenly love abiding,
    No change my heart shall fear;
  And safe is such confiding,
    For nothing changes here.

A. L. WARING.

A true Christian, that hath power over his own will, may live nobly and
happily, and enjoy a clear heaven within the serenity of his own mind
perpetually. When the sea of this world is most rough and tempestuous
about him, then can he ride safely at anchor within the haven, by a sweet
compliance of his will with God's will. He can look about him, and with an
even and indifferent mind behold the world either to smile or frown upon
him; neither will he abate of the least of his contentment for all the ill
and unkind usage he meets withal in this life. He that hath got the mastery
over his own will feels no violence from without, finds no contests within;
and when God calls for him out of this state of mortality, he finds in
himself a power to lay down his own life; neither is it so much taken from
him, as quietly and freely surrendered up by him.

DR. JOHN SMITH.



November 25


_And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee,
He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be
dismayed_.--DEUT. xxxi. 8.

  Know well, my soul, God's hand controls
    Whatever thou fearest;
  Round Him in calmest music rolls
    Whate'er thou hearest.

J. G. WHITTIER.

The lessons of the moral sentiment are, once for all, an emancipation from
that anxiety which takes the joy out of all life. It teaches a great peace.
It comes itself from the highest place. It is that, which being in all
sound natures, and strongest in the best and most gifted men, we know to be
implanted by the Creator of men. It is a commandment at every moment, and
in every condition of life, to do the duty of that moment, and to abstain
from doing the wrong.

R. W. EMERSON.

Go face the fire at sea, or the cholera in your friend's house, or the
burglar in your own, or what danger lies in the way of duty, knowing you
are guarded by the cherubim of Destiny.

R. W. EMERSON.



November 26


_Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou
guest_.--GEN. xxviii. 15.

    Be quiet, soul:
  Why shouldst thou care and sadness borrow,
  Why sit in nameless fear and sorrow,
    The livelong day?
  God will mark out thy path to-morrow
    In His best way.

ANON.

I had hoped, Madame, to find you here, and was rejoicing in that hope; but
God has sent you elsewhere. The best place is wherever He puts us, and
any other would be undesirable, all the worse because it would please our
fancy, and would be of our own choice. Do not think about distant events.
This uneasiness about the future is unwholesome for you. We must leave to
God all that depends on Him, and think only of being faithful in all that
depends upon ourselves. When God takes away that which He has given you, He
knows well how to replace it, either through other means or by Himself.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.



November 27


_The Lord hath been mindful of us: He will bless us_.--PS. cxv. 12.

  My Father! what am I, that all
  Thy mercies sweet like sunlight fall
    So constant o'er my way?
  That Thy great love should shelter me,
  And guide my steps so tenderly
    Through every changing day?

ANON.

What a strength and spring of life, what hope and trust, what glad,
unresting energy, is in this one thought,--to serve Him who is "my Lord,"
ever near me, ever looking on; seeing my intentions before He beholds my
failures; knowing my desires before He sees my faults; cheering me to
endeavor greater things, and yet accepting the least; inviting my poor
service, and yet, above all, content with my poorer love. Let us try to
realize this, whatsoever, wheresoever we be. The humblest and the simplest,
the weakest and the most encumbered, may love Him not less than the busiest
and strongest, the most gifted and laborious. If our heart be clear before
Him; if He be to us our chief and sovereign choice, dear above all, and
beyond all desired; then all else matters little. That which concerneth us
He will perfect in stillness and in power.

H. E. MANNING.



November 28


_Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving
kindness have I drawn thee_.--JER. xxxi. 3.

  On the great love of God I lean,
  Love of the Infinite, Unseen,
  With nought of heaven or earth between.
    This God is mine, and I am His;
    His love is all I need of bliss.

H. BONAR.

If ever human love was tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted; if ever
it could bear and forbear; if ever it could suffer gladly for its loved
ones; if ever it was willing to pour itself out in a lavish abandonment for
the comfort or pleasure of its objects; then infinitely more is Divine love
tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted, and glad to bear and forbear,
and to suffer, and to lavish its best of gifts and blessings upon the
objects of its love. Put together all the tenderest love you know of, the
deepest you have ever felt, and the strongest that has ever been poured out
upon you, and heap upon it all the love of all the loving human hearts in
the world, and then multiply it by infinity, and you will begin, perhaps,
to have some faint glimpse of what the love of God is.

H. W. SMITH.



November 29


_My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand
before Him, to serve Him_.--2 CHRON. xxix. 11.

  Bright be my prospect as I pass along;--
    An ardent service at the cost of all,--
  Love by untiring ministry made strong,
    And ready for the first, the softest call.

A. L. WARING.

There are many things that appear trifles, which greatly tend to enervate
the soul, and hinder its progress in the path to virtue and glory. The
habit of indulging in things which our judgment cannot thoroughly approve,
grows stronger and stronger by every act of self-gratification, and we are
led on by degrees to an excess of luxury which must greatly weaken our
hands in the spiritual warfare. If we do not endeavor to do that which is
right in every particular circumstance, though trifling, we shall be in
great danger of letting the same negligence take place in matters more
essential.

MARGARET WOODS.

The will can only be made submissive by frequent self-denials, which must
keep in subjection its sallies and inclinations. Great weakness is often
produced by indulgences which seem of no importance.

M. DE MOLINOS.



November 30


_Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His
countenance_.--PS. xlii. 5.

_We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed_.--2 COR. iv. 8.

  Oh, my soul, why art thou vexed?
    Let things go e'en as they will;
  Though to thee they seem perplexed,
    Yet His order they fulfil.

A. H. FRANCKE.

The vexation, restlessness, and impatience which small trials cause, arise
wholly from our ignorance and want of self-control. We may be thwarted
and troubled, it is true, but these things put us into a condition for
exercising patience and meek submission, and the self-abnegation wherein
alone the fulness of God is to be found.

DE RENTY.

Every day deny yourself some satisfaction;--bearing all the inconveniences
of life (for the love of God), cold, hunger, restless nights, ill health,
unwelcome news, the faults of servants, contempt, ingratitude of friends,
malice of enemies, calumnies, our own failings, lowness of spirits, the
struggle in overcoming our corruptions;--bearing all these with patience
and resignation to the will of God. Do all this as unto God, with the
greatest privacy.

THOMAS WILSON.



December 1


_Charity envieth not, ... thinketh no evil_--I COR. xiii. 4, 5.

_Why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy
brother_?--ROM. xiv. 10.

_He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth_.--PROV. xiv. 21.

  Look thou with pity on a brother's fall,
  But dwell not with stern anger on his fault;
  The grace of God alone holds thee, holds all;
  Were that withdrawn, thou too wouldst swerve and halt.

J. EDMESTON.

If, on hearing of the fall of a brother, however differing or severed from
us, we feel the least inclination to linger over it, instead of hiding it
in grief and shame, or veiling it in the love which covereth a multitude
of sins; if, in seeing a joy or a grace or an effective service given to
others, we do not rejoice, but feel depressed, let us be very watchful; the
most diabolical of passions may mask itself as humility, or zeal for the
glory of God.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.

Love taketh up no malign elements; its spirit prompteth it to cover in
mercy all things that ought not to be exposed, to believe all of good that
can be believed, to hope all things that a good God makes possible, and to
endure all things that the hope may be made good.

J. H. THOM.



December 2


_Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:
for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that
judgest doest the same things_.--ROM. ii. I.

  Search thine own heart. What paineth thee
    In others, in thyself may be;
  All dust is frail, all flesh is weak;
    Be thou the true man thou dost seek.

J. G. WHITTIER.

A saint's life in one man may be less than common honesty in another. From
us, whose consciences He has reached and enlightened, God may look for a
martyr's truth, a Christian's unworldly simplicity, before He will place us
on a level even with the average of the exposed classes. We perhaps think
our lives at least harmless. We do not consider what He may think of them,
when compared with the invitations of His that we have slighted, with the
aims of His Providence we are leaving without our help, with the glory for
ourselves we are refusing and casting away, with the vast sum of blessed
work that daily faithfulness in time can rear without overwork on any
single day.

J. H. THOM.



December 3


_Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye
may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost_.--ROM. xv. 13.

  To heaven I lift my waiting eyes;
    There all my hopes are laid;
  The Lord that built the earth and skies
    Is my perpetual aid.

I. WATTS.

Grovel not in things below, among earthly cares, pleasures, anxieties,
toils, if thou wouldst have a good strong hope on high. Lift up thy cares
with thy heart to God, if thou wouldst hope in Him. Then see what in thee
is most displeasing to God. This it is which holdeth thy hope down. Strike
firmly, repeatedly, in the might of God, until it give way. Thy hope will
soar at once with thy thanks to God who delivered thee.

E. B. PUSEY.

The snares of the enemy will be so known to thee and discerned, the way of
help so manifest and easy, that their strength will be broken, and the poor
entangled bird will fly away singing, from the nets and entanglements of
the fowler; and praises will spring up, and great love in thy heart to the
Forgiver and Redeemer.

I. PENINGTON.



December 4


_Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou
art also called_.--I TIM. vi. 12.

    Oh, dream no more of quiet life;
  Care finds the careless out; more wise to vow
    Thy heart entire to faith's pure strife;
  So peace will come, thou knowest not when or how.

LYRA APOSTOLICA.

Who art thou that complainest of thy life of toil? Complain not. Look
up, my wearied brother; see thy fellow-workmen there, in God's Eternity;
surviving there, they alone surviving; sacred band of the Immortals,
celestial body-guard of the empire of mankind. To thee Heaven, though
severe, is _not_ unkind; Heaven is kind,--as a noble mother; as that
Spartan mother, saying while she gave her son his shield, "With it, my son,
or upon it." Thou too shall return _home_ in honor; to thy far-distant
Home, in honor; doubt it not,--if in the battle thou keep thy shield!
Thou, in the Eternities and deepest death-kingdoms art not an alien; thou
everywhere art a denizen. Complain not.

T. CARLYLE.



December 5


_The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ
Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you_.--I PET. v. 10.

_Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted_.--ISA. vii.
4.

  How shall thou bear the cross that now
    So dread a weight appears?
  Keep quietly to God, and think
    Upon the Eternal Years.

F. W. FABER.

God forgive them that raise an ill report upon the sweet cross of Christ;
it is but our weak and dim eyes, that look but to the black side, that
makes us mistake; those that can take that crabbed tree handsomely upon
their backs, and fasten it on cannily, shall find it such a burden as wings
unto a bird, or sails to a ship.

S. RUTHERFORD.

Blessed is any weight, however overwhelming, which God has been so good as
to fasten with His own hand upon our shoulders.

F. W. FABER.

We cannot say this or that trouble shall not befall, yet we may, by help of
the Spirit, say, nothing that doth befall shall make me do that which is
unworthy of a Christian.

R. SIBBES.



December 6


_This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto
death_.--PS. xlviii. 14.

_For the Lord shall be thy confidence_.--PROV. iii. 26.

  Be still, my soul! Thy God doth undertake
    To guide the future, as He has the past:
  Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake,
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

J. BORTHWJCK.

He has kept and folded us from ten thousand ills when we did not know it:
in the midst of our security we should have perished every hour, but that
He sheltered us "from the terror by night and from the arrow that flieth by
day"--from the powers of evil that walk in darkness, from snares of our own
evil will. He has kept us even against ourselves, and saved us even from
our own undoing. Let us read the traces of His hand in all our ways, in all
the events, the chances, the changes of this troubled state. It is He that
folds and feeds us, that makes us to go in and out,--to be faint, or to
find pasture,--to lie down by the still waters, or to walk by the way that
is parched and desert.

H. E. MANNING.

We are never without help. We have no right to say of any good work, it is
too hard for me to do, or of any sorrow, it is too hard for me to bear; or
of any sinful habit, it is too hard for me to overcome.

ELIZABETH CHARLES.



December 7


_Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace_.--JOB xxii. 21.

_All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace
of thy children_.--ISA. liv. 13.

  Unite, my roving thoughts, unite
    In silence soft and sweet;
  And thou, my soul, sit gently down
    At thy great Sovereign's feet.

P. DODDRIDGE.

Yes! blessed are those holy hours in which the soul retires from the world
to be alone with God. God's voice, as Himself, is everywhere. Within and
without, He speaks to our souls, if we would hear. Only the din of the
world, or the tumult of our own hearts, deafens our inward ear to it.
Learn to commune with Him in stillness, and He, whom thou hast sought in
stillness, will be with thee when thou goest abroad.

E. B. PUSEY.

The great step and direct path to the fear and awful reverence of God, is
to meditate, and with a sedate and silent hush to turn the eyes of the mind
inwards; there to seek, and with a submissive spirit wait at the gates of
Wisdom's temple; and then the Divine Voice and Distinguishing Power will
arise in the light and centre of a man's self.

THOMAS TRYON.



December 8


_Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed
us with all spiritual blessings_.--EPH. i. 3.

_As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing_.--2 COR. vi. 10.

  It is not happiness I seek,
  Its name I hardly dare to speak;
  It is not made for man or earth,
  And Heaven alone can give it birth.

  There is a something sweet and pure,
  Through life, through death it may endure;
  With steady foot I onward press,
  And long to win that Blessedness.

LOUISA J. HALL.

The elements of _happiness_ in this present life no man can command, even
if he could command himself, for they depend on the action of many wills,
on the purity of many hearts, and by the highest law of God the holiest
must ever bear the sins and sorrows of the rest; but over the _blessedness_
of his own spirit circumstance need have no control; God has therein given
an unlimited power to the means of preservation, of grace and growth, at
every man's command.

J. H. THOM.

There is in man a higher than love of happiness: he can do without
happiness, and instead thereof find blessedness!

T. CARLYLE.



December 9


_For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou
mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come
nigh unto him_.--PS. xxxii. 6.

  Be not o'ermastered by thy pain,
    But cling to God, thou shall not fall;
  The floods sweep over thee in vain,
    Thou yet shall rise above them all;
  For when thy trial seems too hard to bear,
  Lo! God, thy King, hath granted all thy prayer:
  Be thou content.

P. GERHARDT.

It is the Lord's mercy, to give thee breathings after life, and cries unto
Him against that which oppresseth thee; and happy wilt thou be, when He
shall fill thy soul with that which He hath given thee to breathe after. Be
not troubled; for if troubles abound, and there be tossing, and storms,
and tempests, and no peace, nor anything visible left to support; yet, lie
still, and sink beneath, till a secret hope stir, which will stay the heart
in the midst of all these; until the Lord administer comfort, who knows how
and what relief to give to the weary traveller, that knows not where it is,
nor which way to look, nor where to expect a path.

I. PENINGTON.



December 10


_Behold, we count them happy which endure_.--JAMES v. 11.

_If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons_.--HEB. xii. 7.

  Trials must and will befall;
    But with humble faith to see
  Love inscribed upon them all,
    This is happiness to me.

W. COWPER.

Be not afraid of those trials which God may see fit to send upon thee. It
is with the wind and storm of tribulation that God separates the true wheat
from the chaff. Always remember, therefore, that God comes to thee in thy
sorrows, as really as in thy joys. He lays low, and He builds up. Thou wilt
find thyself far from perfection, if thou dost not find God in everything.

M. DE MOLINOS.

God hath provided a sweet and quiet life for His children, could they
improve and use it; a calm and firm conviction in all the storms and
troubles that are about them, however things go, to find content, and be
careful for nothing.

R. LEIGHTON.



December 11


_Oh, that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and that Thine hand might be
with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve
me_!--I CHRON. iv. 10.

_Ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread and thy
water_.--EX. xxiii. 25.

  What I possess, or what I crave,
    Brings no content, great God, to me,
  If what I would, or what I have,
    Be not possest, and blest, in Thee;
    What I enjoy, O make it mine,
    In making me that have it, Thine.

J. QUARLES.

Offer up to God all pure affections, desires, regrets, and all the bonds
which link us to home, kindred, and friends, together with all our works,
purposes, and labors. These things, which are not only lawful, but sacred,
become then the matter of thanksgiving and oblation. Memories, plans for
the future, wishes, intentions; works just begun, half done, all but
completed; emotions, sympathies, affections,--all these things throng
tumultuously and dangerously in the heart and will. The only way to master
them is to offer them up to Him, as once ours, under Him, always His by
right.

H. E. MANNING.



December 12


_I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart_.--PS.
xl. 8.

  A patient, a victorious mind,
  That life and all things casts behind,
    Springs forth obedient to Thy call;
  A heart that no desire can move,
  But still to adore, believe, and love,
    Give me, my Lord, my Life, my All.

P. GERHARDT.

That piety which sanctifies us, and which is a true devotion to God,
consists in doing all His will precisely at the time, in the situation, and
under the circumstances, in which He has placed us. Perfect devotedness
requires, not only that we do the will of God, but that we do it with love.
God would have us serve Him with delight; it is our hearts that He asks of
us.

FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FENELON.

Devotion is really neither more nor less than a general inclination and
readiness to do that which we know to be acceptable to God. It is that
"free spirit," of which David spoke when he said, "I will run the way
of Thy commandments, when Thou hast set my heart at liberty." People of
ordinary goodness walk in God's way, but the devout run in it, and at
length they almost fly therein. To be truly devout, we must not only do
God's will, but we must do it cheerfully.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.



December 13


_So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto
wisdom_.--PS. xc. 12.

_Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of
doubtful mind_.--LUKE xii. 29.

  Our days are numbered: let us spare
  Our anxious hearts a needless care:
  'T is Thine to number out our days;
  'T is ours to give them to Thy praise.

MADAME GUYON.

Every day let us renew the consecration to God's service; every day let
us, in His strength, pledge ourselves afresh to do His will, even in the
veriest trifle, and to turn aside from anything that may displease Him.
He does not bid us bear the burdens of tomorrow, next week, or next year.
Every day we are to come to Him in simple obedience and faith, asking
help to keep us, and aid us through that day's work; and to-morrow, and
to-morrow, and to-morrow, through years of long to-morrows, it will be but
the same thing to do; leaving the future always in God's hands, sure that
He can care for it better than we. Blessed trust! that can thus confidingly
say, "This hour is mine with its present duty; the next is God's, and when
it comes, His presence will come with it."

W. R. HUNTINCTON.



December 14


_And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy,
and upon the Israel of God_.--GAL. vi. 16.

  Lord, I have given my life to Thee,
    And every day and hour is Thine,--
  What Thou appointest let them be;
    Thy will is better, Lord, than mine.

A. WARNER.

Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your
King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this
day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you _ready_
to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about to-morrow; one day
at a time is enough. Try it to-day, and see if it is not a day of strange,
almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when
to-morrow comes, to ask Him to take it also,--till it will become a
blessed habit to hold yourself simply and "wholly at Thy commandment for
_any_ manner of service." The "whatsoever" is not necessarily active work.
It may be waiting (whether half an hour or half a life-time), learning,
suffering, sitting still. But shall we be less ready for these, if any of
them are His appointments for to-day? Let us ask Him to prepare us for all
that He is preparing for us.

F. R. HAVERGAL.



December 15


_Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with
thee_.--PS. cxvi. 7.

_We which have believed do enter into rest_.--HEB. iv. 3.

  Rest is not quitting
    The busy career;
  Rest is the fitting
    Of self to its sphere.

  'T is loving and serving
    The highest and best!
  'T is onwards, unswerving,--
    And that is true rest.

J. S. DWIGHT.

As a result of this strong faith, the inner life of Catherine of Genoa
was characterized, in a remarkable degree, by what may be termed rest, or
quietude; which is only another form of expression for true interior peace.
It was not, however, the quietude of a lazy inaction, but the quietude
of an inward acquiescence; not a quietude which feels nothing and does
nothing, but that higher and divine quietude which exists by feeling and
acting in the time and degree of God's appointment and God's will. It was a
principle in her conduct, to give herself to God in the discharge of duty;
and to leave all results without solicitude in His hands.

T. C. UPHAM.



December 16


_Thou understandest my thought afar off_.--PS. cxxxix. 2.

_Who can understand his errors? cleanse Thou me from secret faults_.--PS.
xix. 12.

  My newest griefs to Thee are old;
    My last transgression of Thy law,
  Though wrapped in thought's most secret fold,
    Thine eyes with pitying sadness saw.

H. M. KIMBALL.

Lord our God, great, eternal, wonderful in glory, who keepest covenant and
promises for those that love Thee with their whole heart, who art the Life
of all, the Help of those that flee unto Thee, the Hope of those who cry
unto Thee, cleanse us from our sins, secret and open, and from every
thought displeasing to Thy goodness,--cleanse our bodies and souls, our
hearts and consciences, that with a pure heart, and a clear soul, with
perfect love and calm hope, we may venture confidently and fearlessly to
pray unto Thee. Amen.

COPTIC LITURGY OF ST. BASIL.

The dominion of any sinful habit will fearfully estrange us from His
presence. A single consenting act of inward disobedience in thought or will
is enough to let fall a cloud between Him and us, and to leave our hearts
cheerless and dark.

H. E. MANNING.



December 17


_The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance_.--GAL. v. 22, 23.

_Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my
disciples_.--JOHN xv. 8.

  O Breath from out the Eternal Silence! blow
    Softly upon our spirits' barren ground;
  The precious fulness of our God bestow,
    That fruits of faith, love, reverence may abound.

G. TERSTEEGEN.

Is it possible we should be ignorant whether we feel tempers contrary to
love or no?--whether we rejoice always, or are burdened and bowed down with
sorrow?--whether we have a praying, or a dead, lifeless spirit?--whether
we can praise God, and be resigned in all trials, or feel murmurings,
fretfulness, and impatience under them?--is it not easy to know if we
feel anger at provocations, or whether we feel our tempers mild, gentle,
peaceable, and easy to be entreated, or feel stubbornness, self-will, and
pride? whether we have slavish fears, or are possessed of that perfect love
which casteth out all fear that hath torment?

HESTER ANN ROGERS.



December 18


_We trust in the living God_.--I TIM. iv. 10.

  Thy secret judgment's depths profound
    Still sings the silent night;
  The day, upon his golden round,
    Thy pity infinite.

I. WILLIAMS. _Tr. from Latin_.

Now that I have no longer any sense for the transitory and perishable, the
universe appears before my eyes under a transformed aspect. The dead, heavy
mass which did but stop up space has vanished, and in its place there flows
onward, with the rushing music of mighty waves, an eternal stream of
life, and power, and action, which issues from the original source of all
life,--from Thy life, O Infinite One! for all life is Thy life, and only
the religious eye penetrates to the realm of true Beauty.

J. G. FICHTE.

What is Nature? Art thou not the "Living Garment" of God? O Heavens, is it,
in very deed, He then that ever speaks through thee; that lives and
loves in thee, that lives and loves in me? Sweeter than dayspring to the
shipwrecked in Nova Zembla; ah! like the mother's voice to her little child
that strays bewildered, weeping, in unknown tumults; like soft streamings
of celestial music to my too exasperated heart, came that Evangel. The
Universe is not dead and demoniacal, a charnel-house with spectres; but
godlike, and my Father's.

T. CARLYLE.



December 19


_And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in Thee_.--PS. xxxix. 7.

_O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee_.--ISA. xxxiii. 2.

  He never comes too late;
    He knoweth what is best;
  Vex not thyself in vain;
    Until He cometh, rest.

B. T.

We make mistakes, or what we call such. The nature that could fall into
such mistake exactly needs, and in the goodness of the dear God is given,
the living of it out, And beyond this, I believe more. That in the pure
and patient living of it out we come to find that we have fallen, not into
hopeless confusion of our own wild, ignorant making; but that the finger
of God has been at work among our lines, and that the emerging is into His
blessed order; that He is forever making up for us our own undoings; that
He makes them up beforehand; that He evermore restoreth our souls.

A. D. T. WHITNEY.

THE Lord knows how to make stepping-stones for us of our defects, even;
it is what He lets them be for. He remembereth--He remembered in the
making--that we are but dust; the dust of earth, that He _chose_ to make
something little lower than the angels out of.

A. D. T. WHITNEY.



December 20


_Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in
that same hour what ye shall speak_.--MATT. x. 19.

  Just to follow hour by hour
    As He leadeth;
  Just to draw the moment's power
    As it needeth.

F. R. HAVERGAL.

You have a disagreeable duty to do at twelve o'clock. Do not blacken nine,
and ten, and eleven, and all between, with the color of twelve. Do the work
of each, and reap your reward in peace. So when the dreaded moment in the
future becomes the present, you shall meet it walking in the light, and
that light will overcome its darkness. The best preparation is the present
well seen to, the last duty done. For this will keep the eye so clear and
the body so full of light that the right action will be perceived at once,
the right words will rush from the heart to the lips, and the man, full of
the Spirit of God because he cares for nothing but the will of God, will
trample on the evil thing in love, and be sent, it may be, in a chariot
of fire to the presence of his Father, or stand unmoved amid the cruel
mockings of the men he loves.

G. MACDONALD.



December 21


_Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the
Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth
strength_.--ISA. xl. 28, 29.

  Workman of God! oh, lose not heart,
    But learn what God is like;
  And in the darkest battle-field
    Thou shall know where to strike.

F. W. FABER.

For the rest, let that vain struggle to read the mystery of the Infinite
cease to harass us. It is a mystery which, through all ages, we shall only
read here a line of, there another line of. Do we not already know that the
name of the Infinite is GOOD, is GOD? Here on earth we are as soldiers,
fighting in a foreign land, that understand not the plan of the campaign,
and have no need to understand it; seeing well what is at our hand to be
done. Let us do it like soldiers, with submission, with courage, with a
heroic joy. Behind us, behind each one of us, lie six thousand years of
human, effort, human conquest: before us is the boundless Time, with its as
yet uncreated and unconquered continents and Eldorados, which we, even we,
have to conquer, to create; and from the bosom of Eternity there shine for
us celestial guiding stars.

T. CARLYLE.



December 22


_I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob,
and I will look for Him_.--ISA. viii. 17.

  What heart can comprehend Thy name,
    Or, searching, find Thee out?
  Who art within, a quickening flame,
    A presence round about.

  Yet though I know Thee but in part,
    I ask not, Lord, for more:
  Enough for me to know Thou art,
    To love Thee and adore.

F. L. HOSMER.

Stand up, O heart! and yield not one inch of thy rightful territory to the
usurping intellect. Hold fast to God in spite of logic, and yet not quite
blindly. Be not torn from thy grasp upon the skirts of His garments by any
wrench of atheistic hypothesis that seeks only to hurl thee into utter
darkness; but refuse not to let thy hands be gently unclasped by that
loving and pious philosophy that seeks to draw thee from the feet of God
only to place thee in His bosom. Trustfully, though tremblingly, let go the
robe, and thou shalt rest upon the heart and clasp the very living soul of
God.

JAMES HINTON.



December 23


_Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ_.--2
TIM. ii. 3.

  Where our Captain bids us go,
  'T is not ours to murmur, "No,"
    He that gives the sword and shield,
    Chooses too the battle-field
  On which we are to fight the foe.

ANON.

Of nothing may we be more sure than this; that, if we cannot sanctify our
present lot, we could sanctify no other. Our heaven and our Almighty Father
are there or nowhere. The obstructions of that lot are given for us to
heave away by the concurrent touch of a holy spirit, and labor of strenuous
will; its gloom, for us to tint with some celestial light; its mysteries
are for our worship; its sorrows for our trust; its perils for our courage;
its temptations for our faith. Soldiers of the cross, it is not for us, but
for our Leader and our Lord, to choose the field; it is ours, taking the
station which He assigns, to make it the field of truth and honor, though
it be the field of death.

J. MARTINEAU.



December 24


_Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of
the inheritance of the saints in light_.--COL. i. 12.

  The souls most precious to us here
    May from this home have fled;
  But still we make one household dear;
    One Lord is still our head.
  Midst cherubim and seraphim
    They mind their Lord's affairs;
  Oh! if we bring our work to Him
    Our work is one with theirs.

T. H. GILL.

We are apt to feel as if nothing we could do on earth bears a relation to
what the good are doing in a higher world; but it is not so. Heaven and
earth are not so far apart. Every disinterested act, every sacrifice
to duty, every exertion for the good of "one of the least of Christ's
brethren," every new insight into God's works, every new impulse given to
the love of truth and goodness, associates us with the departed, brings
us nearer to them, and is as truly heavenly as if we were acting, not on
earth, but in heaven. The spiritual tie between us and the departed is not
felt as it should be. Our union with them daily grows stronger, if we daily
make progress in what they are growing in.

WM. E. CHANNING.



December 25


_That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with
all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to
know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled
with all the fulness of God_.--EPH. iii. 17-19.

  O love that passeth knowledge, thee I need;
    Pour in the heavenly sunshine; fill my heart;
  Scatter the cloud, the doubting, and the dread,--
    The joy unspeakable to me impart.

H. BONAR.

To examine its evidence is not to try Christianity; to admire its martyrs
is not to try Christianity; to compare and estimate its teachers is not to
try Christianity; to attend its rites and services with more than Mahometan
punctuality is not to try or know Christianity. But for one week, for one
day, to have lived in the pure atmosphere of faith and love to God, of
tenderness to man; to have beheld earth annihilated, and heaven opened
to the prophetic gaze of hope; to have seen evermore revealed behind the
complicated troubles of this strange, mysterious life, the unchanged smile
of an eternal Friend, and everything that is difficult to reason solved by
that reposing trust which is higher and better than reason,--to have known
and felt this, I will not say for a _life_, but for a single blessed hour,
_that_, indeed, is to have made experiment of Christianity.

WM. ARCHER BUTLER.



December 26


_The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus_.--PHIL. iv. 7.

_Let the peace of God rule in your hearts_.--COL. iii. 15.

  Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
    Till all our strivings cease;
  Take from our souls the strain and stress,
  And let our ordered lives confess
    The beauty of Thy peace.

J. G. WHITTIER.

"These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." What is
fulness of joy but _peace_? Joy is tumultuous only when it is not full; but
peace is the privilege of those who are "filled with the knowledge of the
glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." "Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."
It is peace, springing from trust and innocence, and then overflowing in
love towards all around him.

J. H. NEWMAN.

THROUGH the spirit of Divine Love let the violent, obstinate powers of
thy nature be quieted, the hardness of thy affections softened, and thine
intractable self-will subdued; and as often as anything contrary stirs
within thee, immediately sink into the blessed Ocean of meekness and love.

G. TERSTEEGEN.



December 27


_Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an
heir of God through Christ_.--GAL. iv. 7.

  Not by the terrors of a slave
    God's sons perform His will,
  But with the noblest powers they have
    His sweet commands fulfil.

ISAAC WATTS.

Our thoughts, good or bad, are not in our command, but every one of us has
at all hours duties to _do_, and these he can do negligently, like a
slave, or faithfully, like a true servant. "_Do_ the duty that is nearest
thee"--that first, and that well; all the rest will disclose themselves
with increasing clearness, and make their successive demand. Were your
duties never so small, I advise you, set yourself with double and treble
energy and punctuality, to do them, hour after hour, day after day.

T. CARLYLE.

Whatever we are, high or lowly, learned or unlearned, married or single, in
a full house or alone, charged with many affairs or dwelling in quietness,
we have our daily round of work, our duties of affection, obedience, love,
mercy, industry, and the like; and that which makes one man to differ from
another is not so much what things he does, as his manner of doing them.

H. E. MANNING.



December 28


_Now the God of peace make you perfect in every good work, to do His will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus
Christ_.--HEB. xiii. 20, 21.

_Be ready to every good work_.--TITUS iii. I.

  So, firm in steadfast hope, in thought secure,
    In full accord to all Thy world of joy,
  May I be nerved to labors high and pure,
    And Thou Thy child to do Thy work employ.

J. STERLING.

Be with God in thy outward works, refer them to Him, offer them to Him,
seek to do them in Him and for Him, and He will be with thee in them, and
they shall not hinder, but rather invite His presence in thy soul. Seek to
see Him in all things, and in all things He will come nigh to thee.

E. B. PUSEY.

Nothing less than the majesty of God, and the powers of the world to come,
can maintain the peace and sanctity of our homes, the order and serenity of
our minds, the spirit of patience and tender mercy in our hearts. Then will
even the merest drudgery of duty cease to humble us, when we transfigure it
by the glory of our own spirit.

J. MARTINEAU.



December 29


_Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,--think on these
things_.--PHIL. iv. 8.

_As he thinketh in his heart, so is he_.--PROV. xxiii. 7.

  Still may Thy sweet mercy spread
  A shady arm above my head,
  About my paths; so shall I find
  The fair centre of my mind
  Thy temple, and those lovely walls
  Bright ever with a beam that falls
  Fresh from the pure glance of Thine eye,
  Lighting to eternity.

R. CRASHAW.

Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. None of us yet know, for none
of us have been taught in early youth, what fairy palaces we may build of
beautiful thought--proof against all adversity. Bright fancies, satisfied
memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure--houses of precious
and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb, nor pain make gloomy, nor
poverty take away from us,--houses built without hands, for our souls to
live in.

J. RUSKIN.



December 30


_O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man
that walketh to direct his steps_.--JER. x. 23.

_I will direct all his ways_.--ISA. xlv. 13.

  Come, Light serene and still!
  Our darkened spirits fill
    With thy clear day:
  Guide of the feeble sight,
  Star of grief's darkest night,
  Reveal the path of right,
    Show us Thy way.

ROBERT II. OF FRANCE.

There had been solemn appointed seasons in Anna's life, when she was
accustomed to enter upon a full and deliberate survey of her business
in this world. The claims of each relationship, and the results of each
occupation, were then examined in the light of eternity. It was then,
too, her fervent prayer to be enabled to discern the will of God far more
perfectly, not only in the indications given of it for her guidance through
each day's occupations, but as it might concern duties not yet brought home
to her conscience, and therefore unprovided for in her life.

SARAH W. STEPHEN.



December 31


_Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those
things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus_.--PHIL. iii. 13, 14.

    Yet I argue not
  Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
  Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
  Right onward.

J. MILTON.

It is not by regretting what is irreparable that true work is to be done,
but by making the best of what we are. It is not by complaining that we
have not the right tools, but by using well the tools we have. What we are,
and where we are, is God's providential arrangement,--God's doing, though
it may be man's misdoing; and the manly and the wise way is to look your
disadvantages in the face, and see what can be made out of them. Life, like
war, is a series of mistakes, and he is not the best Christian nor the best
general who makes the fewest false steps. He is the best who wins the most
splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes. Forget mistakes; organize
victory out of mistakes.

F. W. ROBERTSON.





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